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!

          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

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012 ! A Happy New Year!

image courtesy of  Speckled Egg Blog, home of vintage treasures
 and artsy treats @

Fresh start,
brand new year,
lots of plans to make,
dreams to fulfill.

"Cheers to a New Year, and another chance for us to get it right! "        ---Oprah Winfrey

  I  wish to thank all of my blogging friends for sharing your stories, your talents and creativity,  your wit and wisdom, your laughter and your faith!  It has been so much fun and I've learned so much from you.   I'm so grateful for your support and encouragement!  I wish you all a healthy, prosperous, and  Happy New Year!

 Happy bells from ImagiMeri, go visit her and see more lovely images!

Do you know where the expression "ringing in the new year "
came from?  I like to look up origins of phrases. A great site, says,
"It used to be customary in England to "ring out" the old year at
 midnight on New Years Eve, by tolling the church bells as though
 for a person who had died, and  "ring in" the new year with a
cheerful peal. There is a well-known poem by Tennyson,
 written in 1850, that refers to this custom.  This is the first verse:

        Ring out the old, ring in the new,
        Ring happy bells, across the snow,
        The year is going, let him go.
        Ring out the false, ring in the true.'

posted by Victoria Dennis, on  December 30,2005

image from
Love, Linda