Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My First Anniversary!

      It is my first anniversary of blogging!
 Thank you, to all my sweet blogging friends, for your encouragement and inspiration!
  I have enjoyed meeting so many super-talented, amazing women in blog-land! 
 It has been so much fun, learning  and sharing!
    And finally,  I'm very  happy to announce that I have just launched my new Etsy Shop!  http://www.etsy.com/shop/grandmalay
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          Today is also my Grandmother's 99th birthday!  I didn't realize until now,
 that I started my blog on  her special day last year!   Yesterday was my mother's birthday!
What funny coincidences!     Here I was  thinking  and writing  all about being a grandmother!
  Mostly,  because it is undoubtedly the most important and fulfilling role I've ever had, other than perhaps being a mother.
My grandmother with my grandbaby boy, last Christmas.
She is very fiesty, and still sharp as a tack! 
 She was very good to me when I was young, always on my side and praising me. 
She called me Linny, she took me places and let me spend weekends with her.
Every new school year she bought me new shoes, and sometimes a couple outfits.
  She altered my prom dress and gave me permanents.    Grandmom taught me to use
 a sewing machine, took me to get my ears pierced, let me and  my teen-aged 
friends stay at her seashore house, and she taught me to love needlework and crafts.  
She's quite a woman! 
Happy 99th Birthday!

                Now, I'm a mother with frosting. 
                        Grand.       Well-seasoned.   
                              Just an antique little girl.

 I had a strong desire to share the collective wisdom I'd gathered from my mother and grandmothers,
share my incredible joy, and constant delight in being a grandma to my sweet little grandkids.
 I wanted to  support  and encourage young mothers and new grandmothers.
One year ago today, I started blogging, with  baby Tommy on my lap.
     One day, while searching for cottage style on google,  I discovered blogging,  and promptly decided cottage decor should absolutely be my theme.  You see, this time last year I was living in a tiny cottage, decorated with all vintage (old, hand-me-down, rescued, repurposed) furnishings.

My home, this time last year.

    The first blogs  I ever  saw were "Dear Daisy Cottage", and then "Cherry Hill Cottage".  Then "Funky Junk Interiors", and her compelling story of overcoming many problems and becoming extremely successful truly inspired me.  When I saw who they all  followed,  I discovered a whole new wide world of  fabulous networking bloggers!

  I quickly joined  the"Etsy Cottage Style" group, because I knew I must find a way to market and sell my antiques and junque.  I was brand new to computers, but I  naively proceeded anyway, clumsily creating my blog.   Immediately, I could see that blogging was a  fun and useful way to connect with like-minded people, introduce myself, and eventually sell on my site.





 




Grandma,  gardener,  happily living in a little cottage,
                     thrifting,  fixing up old furniture,
collecting and selling vintage, 
 such was my sweet, simple little life!




    Well, little did I know that I was in for some major changes and detours!   In mid- 2011, my life turned into a huge mess.   I lost my home of 10 years, when my boyfriend's parents entire estate went to the nursing home.   You see,  I  had been their longtime caregiver, in exchange for a very humble place to live.  We actually thought we would one day inherit his parents home, but instead we totally lost everything!  Unbelievably, the property sold  the very same day the realtor listed it!

    Soon I was displaced, homeless, practically penniless, and had to get out fast!  Not only was I frightened, and  insecure, but I had a big mess to clean up.   Two houses to clean out quickly, and no place  to go..  It was a tremendous job moving out and relocating, with little resources. Time-consuming, heavy work in the hottest part of summer, and lost income too!



 Ironic, that this was happening to me, when I spend my days and all my energy,
 "Helping People In Transition". 
Yes, that's my business slogan, and I'm  really good at it!
 Making things easier for people when they are relocating,
 grieving, going through difficulties!   Ha!



   Now it's my turn, and suddenly I don't feel so competent, confident, capable.
I was discouraged, and sometimes I felt it was worse than when I went through
 my unhappy divorce many years ago.
I cried out, "Please Dear Lord,  Somehow let me find a home! "
     I  frantically scrambled around, doing real estate searches online, looking for the least expensive dwellings.  All the fixer-upper houses, around here are not cheap. They are snatched up by investors who rent, or fix-and-flip. 
     Then God truly answered my prayer for help. Used mobile homes started popping up in my searches.  Finally, after visiting lots of parks, I found  a very modest, very used, affordable (cheap) older mobile home, and  begged, borrowed and scraped together enough to purchase it..
    It was in good condition, clean and had good appliances and fixtures.  In a little more than one month, I relocated.  Whew!   This was a miracle!    I did the best I could to make it into a comfortable home, using all my vintage,(old, hand-me-down, rescued, repurposed) furnishings.

  Now I'm in an attractive, very quiet and safe, over-55 community.  The best thing is, I'm a lot closer to some of my children, and grandchildren.
     I'm so very grateful, 
     that God has provided a way for me to have a home!

     I bet there are lots of  other grandmas here in the park, but it's really quiet, and I've only met one neighbor.  I'm sure some tongues  are wagging, about the lively, fleet-footed  brunette who comes and goes all crazy hours day and night, and brings rambunctious toddlers over to visit, (where there aren't supposed to be any children!).  I'm the only one who lives here and is still working. And I have to hustle, because I take care of my grandson during normal work hours, which means I may be cleaning an apartment, or painting a mural into the wee hours.



  Besides that, I often go away to do craft shows, antique shows, or car shows on weekends!


 "And  I  leave my Christmas lights out on my front porch all year long".   Yeah,  a little crazy.
 But, next spring I will make an effort to be more normal, to join the sedate community and get to know my neighbors. ( If they will speak to me!)    Maybe I'll start a club, or community garden!

 Much of my time is spent with my adorable 18-month-old grandson right now.
 ( lucky me!)

At the computer with Thomas helping me post on my blog.

  I am working hard to grow my cleaning and painting business, and selling vintage stuff.


This is me, each spring and fall, at an antique show
at the Women's Club of Vineland, N.J.

  Anyway, I felt like it was going to be hard to act like I had a cottage, after I moved here.  I wondered if  any other bloggers would want to hear anything about  " an old 1973 trailer" and my unpredictable lifestyle.  I just kept quiet about it for awhile.

My new home, right after settlement, plain-Jane, undecorated.

    How in the world can I still write about  cottage decorating and gardening?
 You see, I probably will not ever have a gorgeous, well-decorated house, or a very elaborate garden, and I'm sure not going to be raising alpacas, and keeping chickens or even have my little pond  again anytime soon.

     But I'm still me,  I still love old things, tea things, growing herbs and flowers, painting old furniture, cooking and baking, repurposing and creating new  things, decorating, everything I always loved.
I knew we were losing the house, so one day  I walked way out back
to get a picture, for my memories of the little cottage with my garden.
  See the rainbow over the property?
 To me,  this was a significant symbol of hope,
 at a time when I was deeply troubled.


  So please, pretty please, don't throw me off the cottage-style, vintage-loving, house-and-garden-decorating blogging groups!

     I just love using old,vintage things all over my home, and I sell them too!
  This year, I am opening my  Etsy shoppe, where you might find a special nostalgic jewelry gift, a pretty vintage apron, or a charming piece of china for your home.

  I wish I had an actual storefront,  where you could come browse, and have a cup of tea with me in a cozy little corner.  In the meantime, I think it will be fun to have an online store, open 24/7!     Yes, everyday!     I hope you'll enjoy seeing the old treasures and trinkets that bring back such fond memories!  Don't you think  vintage things  make for some lovely gift-giving, and give your home a cozy touch!

  Now,   I begin my second year of blogging,  praying I will be able to support myself, and not sound whiny and complaining .  Trusting God and doing my best, moving forward , choosing joy!   My prayer is that I will  become a successful business woman and a blessing to others, while doing something that I truly enjoy!  Remember,
            all things are possible if you just believe!
 I'm so happy that you visited my blog!  May you be blessed!
  Love,  Linda




*Lovely scroll from www.bumblebutton.blogspot.com



10 comments:

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

What an inspirational story you have!

The first blogs I read were Daisy Cottage and Cherry Hill Cottage! I remember when they were the big decorating blogs on the block.

One of my favorite blogs is http://themobilehomewoman.com/. Do you read it?
Her house was foreclosed (I believe she was getting divorced) and she and her two daughters found a cheap mobile home that they fixed up and they landscaped it and had vegetable gardens etc. They always wanted a farm and year ago they scrapped together enough money to buy a farm in foreclosure. Her posts now are about farm life but if you look in her archives you'll see her mobile home adventures. She also did videos of some of her projects in the mobile home.

"cottage" is a state of mind and it doesn't matter where you live!

Kathryn Ross said...

Happy Anniversary, Linda! Bless you - I'll be following right behind you in another month - celebrating the first week of March just after I spoke with you at the show and you encouraged me to blog - just as God was speaking to me about it! You introduced me to Blogworld and I haven't looked back!

So happy to see the grand ways the Lord has shown Himself faithful to you. May you thrive in 2012!! Hope to see you at the show again - just a few weeks away.

Joy!
Kathy

Polly said...

Oh, Linda, your blog is so beautiful and so inviting! You have such a way with words that makes one feel like they have just stepped into a place they have known forever. Thank you SO much for using the graphics from my little ole' blog. I was so very happy to see the digital image 'I Believe' and am humbled that you liked it enough to place it on your sidebar! You, know, I was a grandmother at age 36 and now am so grateful to be blessed with 5 great grandchildren. I look forward to someday being a great, great grandma. How lucky you are to still have your little grandma. Take care, Sweetheart!

Linda Young said...

Thank you, Kathy! It means so much to have your support and encouragement as you are such n accomplished and fine writer, and so spiritually strong too. I have real connection issues with my ISP, so this blog is really challenging and I'm still learning also.
But, yes, God is good and I know that He will always meet all my needs, and that all things are possible because of Him!, Love, Linda

Linda Young said...

Thank you! I have been reading her blog, the mobilehomewoman, She's fun and very strong and resourceful, and inspiring! ZThat you for your encouragement! Be blessed!

Linda Young said...

Thank you, Polly, you are sweet! I love your graphics, have been following you for a while, and I love making friends with you, knowing you are a special grandma and great-grandma! Love, Linda

Barb said...

Hello Linda,
Happy blog anniversary.
Happy Birthday to your Grandma.
I'm 69 and my 95 yro mum lives with me and my hubby. I was a grandmother at 42 and now have 9 grandchildren and 2great g-children.
I like the way you were guided to your mobile home....
God Bless Barb from Australia

Sarah said...

Hi Linda,
First of all, happy anniversary! One year, woo hoo! I just started blogging back in October so I have a ways to go before I hit my one year.

Secondly, I have to echo back all you said about stumbling randomly upon the blogging world and then falling in love with it. The same thing happened to me!

Lastly, you are right, God is good and He is faithful! It was awesome to read how he provided for you!

Can't wait to hear more from you, I'm your newest follower.

I'd love for you to come and check out my new humble blog:
www.adventuresofourfamily.com

Have a blessed day,
Sarah

outjunking said...

I am your newest follower, I love how you show your true self. Plus you are a hard working lady with a lot of drive that I admire.
Your newest follower,
Lisa

Rhonda said...

Hello Linda
I found your blog from the sweet comment you left on my blog. you have a very pretty and interesting blog, I am glad to of found you.
You don't have to have a fancy expensive house to have a happy life or a well-read blog. I love your attitude!