why do we blog?

by Sharon Santoni

19TH CENTURY BUILDING NICE COTE D'AZUR

I have been missing in action for the past week, the first time (apart from the holidays) that it’s happened in five years of blogging, and I have to admit that it felt pretty strange.

I was in the south of France, tending to my family;  important stuff that will always take the priority.  Of course I could have had my camera with me wherever I went, and clicked to post a show-and-tell on the blog …. but I didn’t.   It is important for my family to know that I can turn off my blogger switch when required, and that some moments are just more precious when they are kept private.

But of course, it hasn’t stopped me thinking about the blog, and why I love to blog so much.

We have been hearing for a while now, that blogging is fading, to be replaced by the quicker fix of pictures on facebook and instagram.

This week, I have been able to put that theory to the test;  I have posted each day to the facebook page or to my instagram account …. but you know what?  for me, it simply is not the same.

Turns out that my little private week with my dear ones has been a very interesting experiment, one that has helped me understand more about why I blog.  It gave me the distance required to reflect.

19TH CENTURY BUILDING NICE COTE D'AZUR

So here we go, for what it’s worth, my two cents on what motivates me to blog …..

1.  I love the communication!

I continue to be thrilled and fascinated by the  ease with which I can share with and learn from readers and fellow bloggers all over the planet.

2.  I love to learn from other bloggers

Not only about blogging but also from their lifestyle.  The talent that is revealed through blogs is quite astounding – remind me again, what did we do before internet?!

3.  I enjoy writing

It took a blog for me to understand this, but it turns out, that writing is demanding, rewarding and fun!

4.  I love to share my photos

In the same way that I can be out with a friend and point out something beautiful, so I love to share on the net the pictures I take each day

5. I love to keep busy

Blogging gives me deadlines to meet, there is a pressure to create each day; to invent, to find new ideas and I just love that stimulation

6.  blogging is the best professional tool

This little blog has taken me down some unexpected paths, and actually become a full time occupation.   My brocante tours, our guest cottage and now of course the book;  each of these new activities have grown organically and  find their place quite naturally on the blog.

It is not by chance that large companies annexe blogs to their websites, they provide a tool to reach people that no other site can match.

7.  blogging has brought some wonderful encounters

True bloggers are sociable animals.  We may spend a lot of time alone in front of a screen, but when given the chance we just love to put faces to names and meet each other for real.

The blog has not only brought me some real friendships with other bloggers, it has also brought the most wonderful people to our home, either as brocante buyers; journalists; publishers or simply guests to our cottage.  For someone living in the quiet countryside of deepest Normandy, it is nothing short of a miracle to have such interesting people turn up on my door step.

8.  blogging gives me street credibility

As an empty-nester and a former-VERY-hands-on mum, this is a time of life when it would be easy to feel redundant and out of touch.    I absolutely love the way that using my blog and other social media keeps me on my toes.  It gives me a passport into places and situations that I would otherwise only observe from afar.    In today’s world, whether we like it or not, being active on social media is respected and useful.   And hey!  as a bonus,  my children think their Mum is cool!

So now I have shared my motivation, I’d love to hear from you.  Has blogging, or simply reading blogs brought something unexpected into your life?   Has it changed your daily routine, or brought you new friends?

Please tell me your side of the story …. thank you for reading me …. it’s nice to be back.

19TH CENTURY BUILDING NICE COTE D'AZUR

Enregistrer

101 comments

Gwendoline Joan Fraser May 4, 2015 - 12:27 pm

It’s interesting reading your blogs, more personal than photos somehow. I’m still trying to start blogging. Taking the first step is the hardest. I have a webpage for my paintings Gwendoline Joan Fraser Artist.com and a space to Blog. Maybe your Blog has given me the inspiration to go for it and start my first blog. I love your photos and page read it always and look forward to your recipes

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Sharon Santoni May 4, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Well Gwendoline, if it helps at all, it took me ages to work up the courage to publish my very first blog post, but once I started, and began to receive nice comments, everything just fell into place

the most important thing is to enjoy it!

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Linda Osborne May 4, 2015 - 2:35 pm

I don’t read any blogs but yours – I haven’t time- but yours is one I look forward to every day

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Ann May 4, 2015 - 2:37 pm

Gwendolyn’s, I like your paintings very much and would like very much to read about the process it took for each one. Not just the process of the skill, but the process of your thoughts as you painted.

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Gwendoline Joan Fraser May 4, 2015 - 7:36 pm

Ann Ok I will do as you suggested . It took me all morning to figure out how to post a blog. Very funny.

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Ann May 5, 2015 - 4:11 pm

Gwendolyn, I was being sincere. You stated you want to start blogging. I was just suggesting subject matter that would be of interest. I’m sorry you were offended.

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Pat May 6, 2015 - 3:17 am

You are an important part of my day, so I selfishly hope you never stop blogging. Thank you for enriching my life

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Debra May 4, 2015 - 12:45 pm

Personally, I hate all that Facebook represents so seeing your blog brings every post so much more personal. Your blogging not only has beautiful pictures, but, a chance to get to know you and your world even though we probably will never meet in person.
Thank you for preservering in what you do. I enjoy it immensely dear ‘friend’!
Deb

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Sharon Santoni May 4, 2015 - 2:02 pm

HI Deb

I understand your issues with facebook, they are a law unto themselves and can be quite maddening. I only use fb for the blog, never for anything personal

Thank you for reading the blog, I am happy to be considered as a friend

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Ardith May 4, 2015 - 3:24 pm

Debra, I wholeheartedly concur with you, so thank you for your comment. I also want to thank you, Sharon, for today’s post as well as your blog in general. Cheers, Ardith

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florence May 4, 2015 - 12:47 pm

Completly Ok with you. My blog is part of me now, I can’t do without it, its my way of sharing all what I love, to offer to the others, and this is very important for me. This blog has changed my life totally, so I NEED to blog, quite everyday, for nice or even sad niews… Lot of friends thanks to this blog, and this is magic ….. Thank you to continue !

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Sharon Santoni May 4, 2015 - 2:03 pm

Yes, florence, there is a sort of magic to it …. a modern, high tech magic but still magic nevertheless

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Vanessa May 4, 2015 - 12:53 pm

I completely agree with Deb’s comment. I refer to you to my husband as my “friend Sharon in France” and he knows exactly who I mean! We’re planning our holiday there in July and cannot wait to visit some of the places you’ve recommend. I also love your Instagram pics but I prefer to sit quietly and read through your lovely blog. Xx

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Sharon Santoni May 4, 2015 - 2:04 pm

thank you for such a kind comment Vanessa, I am honoured to be know as your friend in France!

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Botanic Bleu May 4, 2015 - 12:58 pm

Sharon,
My French Country Home was one of the first blogs I read in 2012 when I first discovered the world of blogging. You were and continue to be an inspiration to me to write a blog. Why do I blog? A mixture of reasons including leaving a little of myself for posterity, sharing the beauty I see around me, continuing to learn new things in my retirement years, expressing creativity, and continuing to teach in a somewhat different fashion than in my career as a high school math teacher. I wrote about Why We Blog in a post in August 2013, just a year after beginning to blog. https://botanicbleu.blogspot.com/2013/08/we-blog.html

My little blog is not as widely read as yours and editors are not offering any book deals, but there is a great deal of self-fulfillment in writing.

Judith

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Sharon Santoni May 4, 2015 - 2:10 pm

Thank you Judith, I know you are a long time reader and I do remember that post of yours about blogging.

Your photos are always lovely, and yes, I agree about the self-fulfillment and the enjoyment

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Francoise Coadou-Porter May 4, 2015 - 12:59 pm

You did Sharon inspire me to start a blog while living in France a couple of years ago, I did find myself obsessed with every photos I took and how it would transferred on the blog ( MyFrenchLinenArmoire ) but got very frustrated with travelling thru the blog frame, alone with no-one to help, got a flick of adrenaline every time some one posted a comment, loved in in general, but never felt I was good enough at writing,decided that a photo speaks a thousand words, moved back to Sydney and got very, very busy renovating, and decorating my house and yes I admit found it easier to use Facebook to post all my new life and new experiences, accessing only people I knew, but saving time on sending individual news to friends and family in all corners of the world…….
But I must admit, I miss the brain stimulation….the excitement of having pushed my boundaries…..and wish I could find next to me a ” coach” to teach me an easier way than the one I was using ……..still love your blog….

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Sandra May 4, 2015 - 1:08 pm

Dear Sharon,

I love this post. It has come at just the right time for me. As you know, I’m very new to the blogging world and I’m wondering why am I doing it!!! But I’ve seen how your world has been enhanced by your blog. I know you catch up with blogging girlfriends, your photography has taken off, you are about to publish a book, your brocante tours are booming, your guest cottage (and dogs) are a drawcard and people from all around the world love the window of life to France that you give them each day. I know I do.

With my own blog I’m still wondering how I should fashion it, how much do I reveal about myself, my house, my family? Where does the private/ public line sit? I’m also doubtful if anyone is interested enough to follow my musings. My daughter says I absolutely must be on instagram, so I have stuck my toe in that pond, but not much more as yet. I’m posting my blog posts to my private Facebook and a new public Facebook page I have created and I post on twitter, but I am uncertain about it all. Am I overdoing it? To go from a life of “lurker” to participator is challenging. But I’m really enjoying writing and photographing what I think is of interest and hope to hell that someone else thinks it is interesting. Like you, I like deadlines and keeping busy and this gives me another purpose in my day. And now I’m starting to get responses from complete strangers from around the world to my posts, which excites me.

I recently left my profession of over 30 years and this transition has been a challenge.
In my previous role I had to be careful about what I said and did but I have freedom now to do other things.

I have followed your blog for years and you have given me so much enjoyment, as has Jeanne from Collage of Life and others. You have inspired me to blog. Thank you.
Kind regards,
Sandra
Australia

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Marian from UK May 4, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Hi Sandra
How do I find your blog? Like you, I’m retired now, just, and I’d like to create a blog but feel that no one would be interested in my little life here in Wiltshire! But we must go for it, just as Sharon did, not for fame or glory, but like her, for sheer pleasure – and then see where it leads. But I’ll be careful not to step over the line with regards privacy. A balance has to be kept I think. Good luck in all you do.

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Sandra May 4, 2015 - 10:32 pm

Hi Marian,

You can find my blog at myadelaidehome.blogspot.com.au

How about yours? What is the name of your blog?

Kind regards,
Sandra

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Susie Craig May 7, 2015 - 2:32 pm

Hello Sandra
I knew Jeanne in London when we lived there a couple of years ago. She and I showed a group of Aussie girls how to start their blogs. I am not sure how many are actually still writing but at least Jeanne and I are. I now live in Brisbane. I have been writing on a couple of sites: lorikeetlady.com, awomantraveller.com and now maddieandmaire.com.au

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La Contessa May 7, 2015 - 4:56 pm

AND I some how mentioned JEANNE on our trip with YOU and found out SUSIE and JEANNE knew each other in LONDON!!!THATS’s what blogging does!SMALL WORLD…………..

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Sue Sims May 4, 2015 - 1:09 pm

I love reading your blog. I know that it must be hard work to write daily and be forever looking for the interesting and beautiful things you share. Keep up the great work!
It feels like a little vacation in the middle of my day.
Thank you,
Sue
Atlanta,Ga.

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Linda May 4, 2015 - 1:10 pm

I echo Debra’s sentiments viz a viz Facebook, please carry on with your blogs. I enjoy them very much in this format.

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LISA GARNER May 4, 2015 - 1:12 pm

Sharon,I read your blog everyday, but also go to other sites from your blog, which is very handy. We all need to keep writing and communicating, it is a lost art and a personal way of staying in touch. I personally do not face book, twitter, my communication with close friends and family is phone, or text. I still love reading books, and magazines, for entertainment and information and ideas. I feel your blog tells me you are a warm and caring and fun person. I too am a empty nester, but I am very active with my children and continue to spend time exploring and traveling with them. Sharon, no need to feel badly when you are unable to blog, family comes first, friends second. Take care====It is Spring in Minnesota and we are loving it.

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Susan May 4, 2015 - 1:16 pm

Thank you for blogging! While I love all the photos, I enjoy reading about the experience connected with them. Reading my favorite blogs are a Happy way to get my day going and inspiring.

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Donna De Luca May 4, 2015 - 1:27 pm

Hi Sharon

May I ask which city these gorgeous photos were taken please?
Such magnificent architecture!

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Joan McQueeney May 4, 2015 - 1:28 pm

Last Fall we were able to take a trip of a life time to Paris, Bordeaux and London. Your blog continues that trip for me. Always a quiet moment and keeps me in the French frame of mind. Thank you.

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Parisbreakfast May 4, 2015 - 1:37 pm

Blogging is an addiction with no calories almost…
And a creative outlet I’m hooked on. It is especially nice to get immediate feedback too.
Although since I moved to Paris there is much more to do and less time to blog.
Go figure 😉
Fun question

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Judi frost May 4, 2015 - 1:59 pm

Please keep blogging ! I love your site ,your photography is beautiful giving us such a fresh view to your side of the world !
As an artist I love your “eye” with your still life’s, flowers, countryside vistas and interiors! Someday I will make it to a brocante tour !
Your blog is so refreshing ! Loving the dogs ,your finds, your house and all your friends homes . I have spent hours visiting other sites you have recommended !
We all understand that family is first and foremost before anything we as mothers do !
Best wishes.

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Dewena May 4, 2015 - 2:06 pm

As a longtime reader, always lurking, never commenting, I must say thank you for this place of beauty for me to escape to. Reading blogs gave me a ticket to places I would never be able to actually go and a view into the lives of women who often led fascinating lives and wrote beautifully, but who were at heart women who felt much of what I felt.

When I finally began a blog I threw my whole heart into it and after a couple of years wondered if it was taking up too much of my time, my thoughts, and so stopped. After a month of not creating, the bug bit me again and I started a new blog only I tried not opening up comments, flying under the radar except with a few bloggers who had become close friends. I did that for 11 months and realized I was missing half the fun–communicating. So I opened up comments and now I’m probably what is known as a slow blogger and at my age it suits me just fine. I would miss it terribly if I had to stop.

Thank you for all the times I’ve lost myself in your world. Please continue but yes, take time to enjoy your own world too.

Dewena

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Kerrie in France May 4, 2015 - 2:07 pm

Hi Sharon, I read every post on your blog and love to see and hear about your part of France. I especially enjoy reading about your french girlfriends and the choices they have made in their lives. I started my blog when my husband and I retired to France and I wanted to keep in touch with family and friends and share our experiences with them. In that respect the blog has been a great success , but now after two years I feel that I need to take it in some other direction, but what ? Needs lots of thought. Posting photos on Instagram is not as satisfying when you have a need to communicate and exchange ideas. Keep up your blog for all of us, please.

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Kandy May 4, 2015 - 2:08 pm

I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I have been following you for several months now and I am always so entertained by your posts. I went to France last September with a cooking group of women. One of them grew up in France …so we stayed at her aunt and uncle’s country home in Marisal. Or Maribel? Can’t remember but it was so beautiful. My trip was cut short because of a parents illness…want to get back because it was a piece of heaven. Following your blog makes me feel like I’m there all over again…every day! I love the way you write. Thank you for all the lovely pictures and stories ! Please keep on blogging!! Oh and I’m from Mississippi!! Happy Monday!!

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Sara May 4, 2015 - 2:21 pm

French Country Home has been such a joy to read over the past year especially now that I’ve become primary caregiver for my husband. I do not blog but reading yours has provided some vicarious travel to Paris and its arrondissements and reliving the French lifestyle that I’ve had the fortunate to experience over the years. Thanks for the memories and for injecting beautiful imagery and so much information.
Continued success!

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Pat May 4, 2015 - 2:52 pm

What did we do before Internet indeed? So glad you write because I love reading your blog! Thanks so much for writing week after week, year after year, it never becomes old for us readers in blog landis.
xo Pat

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Fiona May 4, 2015 - 3:11 pm

I really enjoy your blog, you give me a chance to see life in a place I would love to live but cannot see myself ever doing, and a lifestyle far removed from my own – please don’t stop. I am not at all interested in Facebook or even Instagram – I much prefer “a conversation” – I feel like you are a friend I am catching up with over coffee and talking about how our week went – the fact that is a one way conversation is irrelevant. Thanks!

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annie vanderven May 4, 2015 - 3:16 pm

je ne peux que vous dire merci . Vous me donner beaucoup de plaisir a vous lire car je suis une française habitant les USA et je peux rêver que je suis quand même en France.

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Barbara Thompson May 4, 2015 - 3:18 pm

I only read blogs. I’m 81 years old, with a husband who has been bedridden for years. I now have help with him and Hospice comes too. But for a long time I felt overwhelmed, so totally alone and lonely. We live in an isolated though beautiful location in north Georgia. When I started reading blogs I realized there is a world out there, and getting to know bloggers, reading their thoughts, seeing their beautiful photography, was a great help in pulling me out of the total depression I felt.

Your blog is especially beautiful; I get the impression you are a beautiful person as well and wish you the very best.

I have two dogs, and enjoy the antics of Gibson and Ghetto and your gentle humour when writing about them.

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Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon May 4, 2015 - 3:32 pm

I always await your recipes and your flowers, but I have to say this post has been one of your best.

I can’t seem to warm to Facebook and instagram, FB seems like fast-food to me and I can’t seem to keep up. It does not feel rewarding – a “like” is never as good as a comment. However, I do love blogging, both writing and reading others. Every items I look at when shopping looks like a potential prop. 🙂 I have learned so many things from everyone. I have also learned things about me that I had not been aware. I was so anxious when I pushed publish. I was so afraid I had revealed too much, but I have to say I have only had positive feedback. Although sometimes I am surprised when I think a post is my best, but get a better response from a more simple recipe.

Anyway, thanks for such an uplifting positive post. It seems to be your specialty.

Madonna

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Our French Oasis May 4, 2015 - 3:34 pm

Fascinating to read and I agree with you on all the points. Family will always come first. However, like you I have found a real love of sharing which I have achieved through blogging. I have also found it makes me appreciate my surroundings, where I live and everything about my French lifestyle so much more, it’s as if I see it all through new eyes and for that I am eternally grateful to all my readers.

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Lisa Lacy May 4, 2015 - 3:37 pm

Sharon I am being a LITTLE GREEDY but I love to see your messages pop up in my inbox. I can’t wait to see what beautiful buildings or scenery you have photographed or what bunch of goodies you have thrown together to photograph. You made me even consider setting up my own blog as I’ve moved from the country to the beachside and am building a new house soon. It would b nice to record it all for the future. I just don’t know how to start.
Please keep up your blogging look how many of us love it!
Lisa Lacy

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Anita May 4, 2015 - 6:24 pm

Lisa, I hope you find the help you need to start your blog. I think many of us would love to read about your transition from the country to the beachside!

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Botanic Bleu May 4, 2015 - 11:03 pm

Lisa Lacy,
Oh, yes, do write a blog sharing about your transition from the country to the seaside. I would love to read it. Just a suggestion on how to start a blog. Begin with Google Blogger which is very user friendly and easy to navigate. Search for “how to start a blog on Google”, and follow the directions. That is exactly how I started writing my blog. Little by little I kept reading Google Blogger Help and added more and more features.

You can do it. I know you can. When you get your blog started, pop over to Botanic Bleu to let me know so I can become a follower and reader.

Best wishes to you,

Judith

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Karena May 4, 2015 - 3:49 pm

Dear Sharon,
Your reasons for blogging and mine are very similar. One of the most important elements has been the way we bloggers interact with each other and even become good friends. It has also opened my world up in so many amazing ways!!
As always your thoughts and images are inspiring beyond what words can say!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

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Sharon May 4, 2015 - 3:59 pm

Facebook just doesn’t do it for me, and Instagram has pretty pictures but no story. I love words, and I love reading. Looking at your blog pictures makes me feel as if I have been on a mini vacation.

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Marian from UK May 4, 2015 - 4:32 pm

Sharon, yours is the first blog I subscribed to and only one of two now, but soon to be the only one! I really enjoy reading your posts about life in the Normandy countryside and your photographs are inspiring. I think one of the reasons your blog is so popular is because you have a perfect balance between writing and photographs. Some blogs have so much writing, people don’t have the time to concentrate on it and give up. Yours is just right, full of interest, humour, beauty and pleasure. You have inspired me to try a blog of my own now I’m retired. But I need the help of my son! So haven’t begun yet! Please keep on writing, Facebook does not compare and seems more superficial somehow. Your readers do feel as if they are getting to know you and yet you still keep your private life private. I hope I’ll learn from you and by the end of this year will have started my own blog. Thank you and have a wonderful summer in your lovely garden!

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Kelly Cammack May 4, 2015 - 4:36 pm

Hi Sharon,
My travelling friend Donna has been following your blog for a few years now. She almost weekly sends me a link in an e-mail with a comment “You have to see this”. It is because of your stunning pictures and interesting writing about Normandy that we have decided to include it in our itinerary this June when we come to France. It is also because of your inspiring blog that I have now become a follower too and am considering starting my own blog before this trip.

To tell the truth I think Donna is a little bit disappointed that she isn’t the first discoverer of your latest blogs now that I am following as well.

Thank you for opening the window into your paradise. I can’t wait to see it myself.

Kelly

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Amy May 4, 2015 - 4:37 pm

Hello Sharon,
. I love your blog. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Not necessarily. You can’t always get the same emotion from a picture as you can from the writers perspective and their personal feelings from that place or moment. I also love your photography. The bucolic images of your surroundings stirs emotions for me. Makes me sigh, laugh, and have a longing feeling. But we wouldn’t know how you feel about those images without your words. Thank you for blogging.

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franki May 4, 2015 - 4:47 pm

Oh, I dearly love my blog friends…I chose the ones that closely represent my thoughts, aesthetics and most importantly…do not say mean things about others. THANK YOU for WHAT YOU DO!!! franki

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Lynn May 4, 2015 - 5:08 pm

I truly love reading your blog – it’s like a mini vacation every time I visit.

My wee blog has evolved over the years, but I continue to post, but not quite as much as I used to – now only about twice a week. I love the relationships I have formed. I’ve not shared it on facebook, etc. because I don’t want my personal friends and my family to read it. It’s a hobby for me that I don’t have to explain away. (One friend found it on her own though.)

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Jeni Maus May 4, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Beautifully said Sharon. You are clearly doing exactly what you should be….you have a beautiful way with words. And your kids will always think you’re cool regardless of what you are doing 🙂 Lots of love to you!

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Joanne May 4, 2015 - 5:19 pm

I love to read your blog and save everyone, titled, so I can access them easily. We are planning a trip to France in the next two years and your blog as been a godsend. It’s nice to feel your conversing with a friend from afar. Instagram would not give the same sensation. Also, I’ve backed away from Facebook, as it feels too intrusive. Please keep blogging so your many faithful followers can enjoy their daily bit of all things french.

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Kathryn May 4, 2015 - 5:39 pm

Keep it up! My dream is to visit France. But I will probably never be able to visit France. So I live my dream through your photos and blog. Please never stop. And thank you for your expert commentary. I love to write as well.

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Del Lancaster May 4, 2015 - 5:55 pm

Each morning I hurry to your blog to enjoy the latest. If it has not changed from the day before, it doesn’t matter because I then re-read and enjoy something that I previously missed. Last week, I re-read several of your older blogs and although I remembered each of them, I found it delightful to once again see the beautiful photos and review the stories. I hope you continue posting as it would be disappointing not to be able to begin my day without your internet friendship. You are definitely an inspiration to many women!
Warm regards, Del Lancaster/New Orleans, LA

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Colleen Taylor May 4, 2015 - 6:00 pm

Sharon, first of all, I adore your blog more than any other. I subscribe to a few other blogs that I feel have relevance & information in my life. It can be a Venus fly trap to peruse blogs in general. I have a blog on my website but I’m not very good about keeping it up. It’s difficult with the demands of my painting business to do it all. I admire you for you persistence & dedication. You definitely add so much to my day by sharing your world.

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pamela May 4, 2015 - 6:28 pm

I have just started to read a few blogs and yours is one of them. I really enjoy reading the blog as I have started writing a blog also mostly because of a writing class that I am taking in college, this gave me that first nug that I need as I did not know where to start or if i had anything interesting to say.It was suggested to post my art projects and crafts on my site, we will see.
But by reading yours and others post I agree with what all is being said about FB and Twitter, but the blogs let me see places that I would love to see and brings conversation , After reading the posts you feel like you are not the only one in the world who has felt or gone through the same things, and gives you the opportunity to have new friends. I so enjoy reading and looking at your photos. I live in Texas,USA
Have a blessed day.
Pam

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Kathleen Botsford May 4, 2015 - 6:32 pm

I have had a blog since 2008 and I have some of the very issues you speak to. I loved to write and take pictures and make art for my posts but a couple of years ago, life got really intense and I wanted to keep the wonderful happenings private. I am very aware of living my life through a lens or as fodder for a blog post, both things I do not want to do. Having said all that, I am feeling the creative urge to start blogging again as my youngest graduates from college in two weeks. I love your blog!

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Penny Kweder May 4, 2015 - 7:08 pm

Interestingly, your is the only blog I actually read. Your photos are stunning, and you are retired in to a life that I can relate to. And plus I adore the dogs! Especially that rascal, Ghetto! I will get to one of your tours one day soon, as I vicariously enjoy them , from afar, so much! Much love to you, and what you are doing. It brings a lot of joy to so many of us! I really did want a share in that house! But alas, it is just too far away! Hope to meet soon!
Fondly, Penny

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Jacqueline May 4, 2015 - 7:09 pm

Quel plaisir de vous lire.! Je suis française et j’habite à Porto Alegre, au sud du Brésil.
Une de mes étudiantes brésliennes m’a présenté votre blog et j’aime beaucoup le lire.
Et à 45 ans, je continue à apprendre, découvrir et voyager… Your blog does it!!
Thanks so much for all that, sharing your time, your sensations…

Jacqueline

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May May 4, 2015 - 7:36 pm

Wonderful reasons, and tremendous insight into blogging. Your blog is an excellent example of why blogging is here to stay. Bravo!

I can’t see blogs every being replaced by blocks of photos.
I began as a way to connect to the art world, get my name out there. However, plans don’t always go as planned. Selling my art isn’t a priority. Seven years ago the focus changed as blogging became a means of staying connected with the outside world. I’ve yet to have a panic or anxiety attack reading a blog or writing a post. 🙂

In the world of blogging, there are no condition obstacles to navigate, plan for, or prepare for.

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Jen Owens May 4, 2015 - 8:37 pm

Sharon, this post has me contemplating blogging… your blog lured me into this new world several years ago, it even inspired me to write my own. I enjoy reading posts on this stage mostly because of the experience where the written word & photos tell a story, FB or IG posts cannot do that. I admire your commitment here & have learned, laughed, cried, & best of all- met many truly wonderful people, including you, from this venue. I hope to revisit my blog (after a long absence) with a renewed focus, as I do miss it! As always, looking forward to your posts! xo ~j

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Sherine Rohwein May 4, 2015 - 8:54 pm

Sweet Sharon ❤️
I adore your blog! I couldn’t agree more with you about the joy, inspiration and sense of community that a beautiful blog such as yours fosters! I discovered your fairytale guest cottage through your blog and it changed my life…. I am following my bliss and am following a new career path. Stay tuned for project: glitter, sparkle, shine…… thank you for your sharing your extraordinary gifts!
Sherine

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Marielle May 4, 2015 - 9:12 pm

Well said, Sharon. And as a long-time reader, blogger, and one-time guest in your lovely cottage, it has been a pleasure to be along on this journey of yours. Thank you.

I, too, love blogging for many of the same reasons you’ve expressed so well. While the past 12-months of “life” has resulted in my blogging far less often, I’ve been at blogging for 7 years and can join you in saying there’s nothing in social media that satisfies me so fully, nor enriches me equally.

My world is so much wider and more diverse, filled with creative images and thoughts, than it could ever have been otherwise. I get a birds-eye view of how so many others live across the world; and learn from them.

Blogging helps me sort through and process, and document for my family all the rich experiences of travel, all the precious moments with our children and grandchildren, the books and movies I love, the meals I’ve prepared and the food that has impressed me when dining out.

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AMG May 4, 2015 - 10:10 pm

Hi Sharon,
Blogging must be quite rewarding, but very time-consuming as well. If I didn’t work full-time and still have children at home to care for, I would be tempted to start a blog mainly for the communication it would provide with people from different walks of life and parts of the world.
I have to say, though, that I would be very wary of getting too caught up in blogging. Some of the bloggers I have been following really seem to have disappeared into their blogs and become virtual people.
I love having the opportunity to peek into bloggers’ lives, but reading blogs is surely not nearly as fulfilling as blogging must be. Also, the pictures painted by bloggers are nearly always rosy, and for that reason they are possibly not all that helpful other than for the few minutes the post/s may take our minds off the daily grind.
Glad to hear that you are still enjoying blogging and that you are conscious of how quickly it can become addictive.
How many bloggers do you follow?

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Vickie Ramos May 4, 2015 - 10:18 pm

I love to read blogs. I have several ‘favorites’ that I read almost everyday (yours is included on that list). They give me inspiration – and sometimes delicious recipes – and a little glimpse into lives so very far removed from mine, and yet somehow the same. Like a friend sharing something they have done, or seen. Sometimes words speak louder than images. Thanks for sharing yours.

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Alanah May 4, 2015 - 11:25 pm

Morning Sharon (it is a bright and sunny day here in Queensland Australia)
Please please please never give up blogging. I’ve travelled to France a number of times but when I’m home your blog gives me an opportunity to dream of staying in your cottage and experiencing the “real” French life. Thank you for taking me into a world I hope to experience some day. With gratitude!

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Jeanne McKay Hartmann May 5, 2015 - 12:29 am

Hi Sharon – This is such an interesting post! First off, I’m glad you got to enjoy some quality time with your family. Those moments are so important. On the subject of blogging, so timely because I have been absent from my blog for a week now without even an “out of the office” note on my last post – I was on a girls trip last weekend, had a lot of client work to focus on, as well as my daily sketches to keep up so the blog took a back seat. I do see the blog taking on a different role in my overall social media outlook as things like Instagram offer alternate ways to stay in touch and get my artwork out there. But agree that there is nothing like a blog to connect with people and to tell a story you just can’t communicate with just one photo or a few words. I think the various social media tools are stronger when used together and blogging is an important part. I think the biggest challenge with blogging is just that it is so time consuming – I don’t like to put a post out there unless I’ve spent quite a bit of time editing the photos and words, and like you, most of my posts rely on nearly all original content so each one takes a great deal of effort and focus to create and produce. But will I stop blogging? Nope! Will I blog with a little less frequency. Probably. But I hope that I can continue to connect with people both in business and socially through all the social media tools that work for me. I’ve built to many valuable and treasured relationships (like the one with you!) to let that go.

Thanks for such an interesting subject matter today! XOXO

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Andrea Fine May 5, 2015 - 1:39 am

I discovered your blog a long time ago. and simply love going to my email and finding the motive of your most recent blog. Francophone that I am, I’m drawn to anything having to do with France, Paris in particular. Your images are lovely (I’m a professional photographer and appreciate the quality and thought behind everything to photograph.) Using your blog as my inspiration, I have begun my own, though somewhat sporadically at the moment. I hope it will encourage women especially to surrender to the camera and let themselves be seen in a new and beautiful light. The blog can be found at https://andreafine.com/blog
I hope some of your readers will visit and let me know their feelings on baring souls, shoulders, feet, whatever!

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Andrea Fine May 5, 2015 - 1:40 am

Please forgive the numerous mistakes…I was so anxious to send this to you, I didn’t realize just how powerful my spellcheck was. So sorry.

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Sheila May 5, 2015 - 2:01 am

I read your blog regularly because I enjoy the connection with your adventures, pictures and reading about life in France. It has allowed to learn so much about your French lifestyle and country. I have been once to Paris and your blog keeps me connected. Your friends and informative info on the neighborhoods is so much fun to read. Blogging certainly is a big commitment and I appreciate your time. Hope you dont stop. I refused to join facebook. Best wishes.

Sheila in S F

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Penny May 5, 2015 - 2:07 am

As a long time blogger and follower of your blog this is an interesting theme to think about. Primarily I blog to keep in touch with friends. The family are all on Facebook and so am I but I rarely post there. I have 2 blogs, one for sketching and my home one. Interestingly I have more followers on the sketching blog. Why do I do it? Mostly it is a record for me, of what I do, of photos I take around the lovely area we live in, although I have to say the older I get, the less interesting posts become. No one wants to hear of ailments!

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Penelope May 5, 2015 - 2:07 am

Bloggers are such interesting people! I began as a blogger because one of my daughters was blogging and encouraged me plus, it was good way to share my joy of life! Mine began as a design blog because I enjoyed beautiful home decor’ but it blossomed into more of what was inside my heart. For me, it is mothering, my faith, and family and friends. I added travel to Europe and was hooked! I love both England and France and have enjoyed sharing with my small circle of readers my travels here and there and hints. Your blog is beautiful Sharon and your love for your home, for France, for others, and your family certain shine through! I am so glad you share your life with us! I look forward to buying your book! Oh…I your gardens…amazingly gorgeous!

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Cherry dearie May 5, 2015 - 2:08 am

Thank you so much for sharing your world with us! I look forward to your daily ‘chats’.

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Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) May 5, 2015 - 2:25 am

Succinctly put………..
Note to self “must get back to blogging” – I miss my regular encounters and all of the interesting information they bring. Warm regards

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Joanne Hudson May 5, 2015 - 2:27 am

Hi Sharon, I have to say yours was the first blog I ever subscribed to, I have tried others but most of those I have cancelled my subscription as they are someone elses work, article or comment.
Whilst it’s lovely to look at pictures on Pinterest and elsewhere there is nothing like reading your blog. You are a great writer, giving honest description and opinions whilst looking for and being open to other peoples opinions.
I love the variety of things you write about, it’s all interesting. I will continue to read your blog and it is my dream to one day visit and stay in your guest house. 🙂

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[email protected] May 5, 2015 - 4:06 am

Keep the writing and photography coming! I pop in as often as I can and catch up. I lived in Aix en Provence for a while and love to read about the other areas of France too.
Sheila

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Lyn May 5, 2015 - 4:47 am

I love your blog – for me it is the full package. Well written, beautiful photos (especially the flowers and gardens), great information about the brocante, Paris and France. My dream is to visit and stay in your cottage on day.

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Annie Maurer May 5, 2015 - 8:43 am

I love your blog not only for the beautiful pictures but also your beautiful words. I became a bit obsessed with reading blogs, at a time in my life a couple of years ago, when things were not going well for me. It was my little ‘escape’ and I dreamed that one day I might write one of my own and who knows, maybe one day I will. But for now I love reading about so many different lives in so many different parts of the world. A little ‘window’ into other worlds that fill me with inspiration.

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susana May 5, 2015 - 9:31 am

Thank you for sending me your latest article about blogging .Finally I understand what it is and I enjoy it very much. Brings colour in my home ,a lots of colour and information about what is nice what is worth to see or hear about it. Mastering in good taste and combined with professional photograph is very enjoyable, and sending from your beloved country France, sharing all those lovely things with me and others all around the world.

Kindest regards from susana

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Freda May 5, 2015 - 9:51 am

I feel a blogpost coming on! What an interesting question, and I love your thoughtful answers. I ‘m an artist living in a fairly remote village in Scotland and it thrills me to be in touch every day with people from all over the world – I also love when my readers communicate with each other through comments on my posts. When someone said ‘Thank you for being a bright spot in my day’ I was hooked! Blogging is indeed a modern day miracle. Thank you for your inspiring posts.

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Barbara Lilian May 5, 2015 - 10:47 am

Hello Sharon.
This post with so many comments has given so many of your followers food for thought. I’ve been a follower of your blog since I first started my own blog 4 yrs. ago. I liked it from the start and love every post from flowers arranged so beautifully, your recipes. to the antics your adorable dogs get up to. I don’t always leave a comment, but this time I just felt I needed to add my pennies worth. Even though I live in rural France, I love reading about France as seen through the eyes of someone else. I started my blog for myself, never ever thinking other people I don’t know would enjoy seeing the photos I show of my garden and places I take my walks or be interested in what I have to say. Blogging has been the best thing I have ever done, It’s taught me so much about the internet and keeps my brain active sorting out how to do things on my laptop, I used to think a mouse was a little furry wild thing that cats chased. I haven’t even gone down the road of Instagram yet, I think I’d get lost. So please keep blogging and I too refer to you to my Mr France as my blogging friend Sharon who lives in Normandy . I’m looking forward to your book, do you have a publication date fixed yet.

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Henrik May 5, 2015 - 11:01 am

Hello Sharon.
I’ve been a follower of your blog for years now, I came because of your beutiful Photos and my love of France. But your writing and tours around Normandy and France is really what keeps your blog alive, and very much worth reading. I’m not into quick fix IG or FB, posting is not a quality in it self, unless there is at story/anecdote to go along. So what keeps us blogging, is common interest and learning new from equally passionate bloggers. It is the comments, where well written thoughts gives us encourgement, and a bit of ping pong. In at few Words, I would say, Sharing, is giving and receiving with a smile.
Best
Henrik

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Nancy May 5, 2015 - 11:41 am

Hard to believe that blogging is fading already. It was new not that long ago!
In any case, yours is the first on my list everyday! And like so many, you are my friend in France that I hope to meet….someday.
I have my blog, little thing that it is….wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com….It is more of a journal of sorts I guess, and doesn’t have to many readers…. However, it is a great outlet for sharing.
I have FB, that helps me stay in touch with family I rarely see and friends. It is not the same as a blog.
I love your blog, especially when you treat us to a story….and those pictures! Keep it up…
Nancy

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Deb from Australia May 5, 2015 - 11:51 am

Hello Sharon
I really enjoy reading your blog. I did for a little while read lots of blogs but after a time I had to pick out the best as it was taking up too much of my day. I now only read 3. All 3 are expats living in France of which one is you of course.
I really like your photos of buildings, gardens, beautifull houses and hearing about your French girlfriends and it’s always a delight to hear the stories you write. I especially liked the one about the young French girl in the apartment who met the young man around Christmas time and their romance.
Please don’t give up the blog.
Debbie

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Vagabonde May 5, 2015 - 7:10 pm

I agree completely with all the reasons why you blog – they are the same for me, apart from “the best professional tool” as I am retired. I live in Georgia, far from my hometown which is Paris, France. By blogging I can go to French blogs and write in French, my original language. I can also see my beautiful city of Paris, such as in your blog, when I get too homesick.

My husband is not well and the blog does keep me happy when times are not easy. I like to look at a variety of blogs and sometimes go and find new ones. However some blogs will never answer and acknowledge new persons on their blog, or come to mine – which is OK if they don’t enjoy my blog. How long do you keep going to a blog that never acknowledges you? After a while I just go and look and don’t comment. I feel that a blog is like a meeting of friends and if one does not ever talk to you that means they don’t want you in, no? It is truly an exchange of ideas and if one does not share but only post, then it is no longer an exchange. But blogging is certainly a great way to meet new friends and a way to feel not so isolated. It is not easy for me to live in the US and blogging is a great escape.

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judi mcgovern May 5, 2015 - 7:47 pm

Love your blog. Keep up the wonderfulness

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Susan May 5, 2015 - 11:47 pm

Please don’t stop blogging, Yvonne! I’d much rather read your blog than FB and Instagram.

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Laura from Florida May 6, 2015 - 12:06 am

Hi Sharon,

Thanks so much for sharing your stories and pictures with the rest of us. It is such a lovely escape from our usual day to day life. I do follow your pictures on Instagram and Facebook and love them too but I agree the blog is so much more interesting and what a great way to learn about you and your life. Keep the stories coming!

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Shell Parsons May 6, 2015 - 3:43 am

I adore your blog Sharon. The images are exquisite and I feel really connected to France via your beautiful writing. I have always loved to write but for quite a few years, I forgot this fact. Life, kids and work tended to swallow me up and then a few years ago, I set out to re-discover ME again. The life, kids and work are all still there (thank goodness!) but now I also make time to do something that nurtures my soul. I am currently working on my first novel which can be quite an overwhelming task. Trying to weave a story throughout 90,000 words can be daunting so I decided to start my blog last year. https://ordinarymagic.me/ I still get to enjoy the magic of writing but on a different scale. My blog is only new and I don’t have a big following but it doesn’t matter. It’s a space where I can go and write about things I am passionate about or interested in. I love reading blogs and am awestruck how they allow me to connect with people from all parts of the globe, with such diverse lives. It teaches me so much but is also a great way to ‘meet’ people with similar interests. x

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corinne31 May 6, 2015 - 8:29 am

Hello, I submitted to your blog recently (after reading about you on a magazine) and I enjoy seing beautiful pictures, reading stories describing a way of life…that is why I mainly read foreign blogs (or blogs of French abroad )…I used to follow one but the person moved to Instagram and it is no more interesting as there is no detailed article connected…So please, go on writing !!!

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Barbara Warren May 6, 2015 - 7:21 pm

Sharon your blog never ceases to inspire me; to give me the incentive to do more; to create something of beauty of my own. Yours is a true gift-continue to enrich us all with your posts!

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Barbara Warren May 6, 2015 - 7:23 pm

Sharon your blog never ceases to inspire me; to give me the incentive to do more; to create something of beauty of my own. Yours is a true gift-continue to enrich us all with your posts! Love, love, love it all.

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Jessica May 7, 2015 - 12:36 pm

I find blogs more interesting and informative than instagrams. After being on Facebook for many months, I had to leave it -too much and felt very narcissistic. Blogs feel more like being invited into a friend’s living room for a chat. The only drawbacks are some of the less friendly comments- but if offended, a person does not have to revisit the site.

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LA Contessa May 7, 2015 - 5:07 pm

FACEBOOK………..kinda done with that.
Instagram is like having a pen pal……………I have made a few good friends here as we share the same love of images.Heck, yesterday lee-warner made a painting of me that Carla took!!She is mailing it to me!
Blogging…………..I do not blog like the rest of YOU do but I so enjoy the feedback too.I ADORE blogging.They pile up in my inbox but they are ALWAYS there.I can read when I have the time.I love taking photos too and sharing those.To answer your question SHARON, I think I blog to find “FRIENDS” who have the same esthetics that I do and to TRAVEL a bit from the comfort of my home!We seem to be able to share with one another more freely.I think it’s just GOOD THERAPY!
Now, what we did before the internet!!!WE CLEANED the HOUSE more and perhaps read more magazines and books!!!!

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Kelly Archer May 7, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Hi there. I’ve just upgraded my website and was determined to write a blog. I’ve tried before and failed to continue with it. However this time I find I’m really motivated. I paint animals but I find that people aren’t only buying a painting; they are buying a little piece of the artist themselves, so I find it useful for people to find a little bit more about me. It also allows me to go off topic and talk about completely different things than art. I’ve never had much of an interest in cooking, but literally since I started my blog I have been making all kinds. My husband thinks I’m a new woman! LOL

Anyway, I love reading your blog. I’ve always loved France, and me and my husband want to move there eventually. Steve thinks Normandy or Brittany, whereas I fancy Limousin. Anyone got a preference?

Kelly.

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[email protected] May 8, 2015 - 7:49 pm

Sharon, I totally agree with the lovliness of blogging. It has brought so much joy into my life and I so love reading everyone’s posts. I don’t do Instagram and my FB posts are only my blog posts. I have over 1000 friends/followers on FB and I know about 3 of them. So, that being said, the BLOG is it for me. And, I too, have made quite a lovely business of it. I didn’t intend to do so but it’s happened. This week I’m placing my beautiful Italian leather handbags in a beautiful boutique which is quite well-located. The positive reinforcement I receive makes my life so much better !!!! Sending love, my friend…..

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Marilyn May 10, 2015 - 12:03 am

This post just sings to my heart. I have told myself over and over that I blog for myself and that is very true. On the other hand I have realized I love the creativity of taking pictures and writing with the added bonus of dear friends all over the world. How precious is that. I post regularly on Facebook, but it is one picture and one sentence in a day, so it fulfills a different purpose – just to delight my “friends” there. Blogging is more meat.

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Cynthia Whitney-Ward May 12, 2015 - 7:09 am

What a lovely post and insight into you blogging passion…I discovered the wonderful world of blogging several years ago and haven’t ‘looked back’. It inspired me to begin my own blog – CHASING SANTA FE – a visual portrait/essay about the magic of Santa Fe and New Mexico. Like you, it has opened many doors and I have been able to meet, photograph and continue a lovely friendship with so many fascinating Santa Feans. I follow my blog analytics closely and am humbled by the number of readers I have each month from all over the world. Recently, my chance, I met a man here in Santa Fe from Barcelona, who has been reading my blog for years…What a sweet rush that was!

Thank you for creating such a charming blog…

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Mara May 21, 2015 - 11:51 am

Hello! I know that this is a quite old post of yours but only a few weeks ago I have discovered your blog and now I’m just trying to keep up with all your posts. Firstly, I want to tell you that everything about France fascinates me and I believe that everything you post here and share with us depict the best parts of being french. More precisely, that “dreamy spirit” I love the most about France. I am still in my high school years, but I would really like to start blogging.. Maybe one day I’ll have the guts to do that. Until then I’ll keep being inspired by your posts. Good job, you are an inspiration!

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Lisa June 4, 2016 - 2:00 pm

Thanks for a wonderful post. I have just started blogging and all the social media that goes along with it. I so enjoy meeting the new people and seeing their point of view. There is a wonderful group out there and getting to know other bloggers, Instagram and Facebook accounts has added a new dimension to my life. It’s fun and exciting!

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Andrea Fine March 18, 2017 - 7:30 pm

I have not been receiving your blog. Please re-instate it. I miss it

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