Tuesday, July 29, 2014

D.I.V.O.R.C.E & Lifestyle/Home & Garden Blogs

A word I very rarely see in the genre of lifestyle/home and garden blogs is: divorce

It happens. After all, the US percentage for marriages that end in divorce hovers around 50%.

I ask because I have had emails over the years asking me if bloggers have perfect lives. And I write back: no, of course they don't. 

They ask me, I suppose, because I have not had a perfect life by any stretch of the imagination, and I have been straightforward about it. 

And then a reader will write, "but their lives seem so perfect. A pretty house, well-behaved children, a loving spouse they say is their best friend..."

Sometimes it does indeed seem that way. Perfect. A charmed life. 

So today I am addressing this phenomenon. Where are the divorces in our little corner of Blog Land? Does this genre just have fewer divorces? 

Of course many bloggers don't write about their personal lives. And that is their prerogative. If they want to blog about pretty things and tell readers where they bought them or how they made them, there's nothing wrong with that. And many readers want that and nothing else, so they are happy campers.

But it seems unbalanced to some readers. They wonder why their own lives don't measure up. They feel they aren't getting the whole picture of this person they love to read daily.

Does a blogger owe their readers more transparency? Of course not. There are no rules.

And many bloggers are married and were either very lucky or a whole lot smarter than me. Perhaps they made wiser choices, had better insight. Somehow they did indeed find their prince. And have lived happily ever after. 

For real.

I got on this topic because there is a popular blogger, a published author, who has seemingly deleted her longtime blog, Mabel's House

People she knew and trusted in her town, who she should have been able to count on, were not kind to her. 

Her blog now has an actual Archive of only a few months. But they are posts about hope and moving on and being a good mother. They are full of humor etched with tears. And finding out that the simplest things of life are the best.

She has turned off her comments.

She is trying to keep it together and spend quality time with her child. Get accustomed to living in a different place. And who could blame her? 

She openly writes about the pain, the leaving behind of her old life. Her home.

I want to write her and tell her that there are more of us out here, and she is not alone, but I have no way to reach her. 

I read her words, and they are uniquely and poignantly beautiful, even though there is a sadness that runs through the paragraphs like a cut that won't stop bleeding. 

"...So lately, you guys, lately it's been a bit crazy. I've been amazed at how deep the post-divorce scrutiny has been. I mean, I like to think I'm interesting and all... but not this interesting. The gossip. The texts to my close friends asking questions about me (not directly to me, never directly), has been ridiculous. The online stalking. I mean, COME ON.

I keep hearing my late Uncle Trent's words in my head.

"Some people don't have anything better to do than sit around and pick lint out of their belly buttons." 

And it makes me cranky. Because I love blogging. And I love being a writer. I love my Facebook account, and Instagram is fun. But I do not like feeling like I'm a side show. I don't like feeling like my real life, in all it's painful glory lately, is some sort of reality sitcom to be watched and critiqued.

It's hurtful. 

Actually, it kind of makes me want to set my hair on fire and beat it out with a golf shoe..."
I love her style of writing. She can say so much with few words. And her words are magical.

(Her Book)
 Things just didn't work out in her marriage.

Bloggers of this genre do get divorced. At least some of us do. I have seen some over the years I've been blogging. 

They write that they are working on their marriage. You can feel their hope in between the lines. 

And then something like this appears...

Goodbye 2013

"First off, I want to thank each and every one of you who has sent emails, comments and messages checking up on me since my little absence. I wanted to give myself time to really *REALLY* be sure I wanted to share what’s going on in my life, and do so without tears in my eyes.

I can’t promise I wont have tears in my eyes though, but go with it.
I have always been open about the struggles that life has brought our way, whether it be our marriage, family life, bills, anything really. I’m not ashamed to admit that things aren’t perfect in this little world of mine– because the internet lies, and it sends out a message that everyone else has this beautiful life full of happiness, perfect magazine homes, and every project made from toilet paper rolls turns into golden pinterest worthy wall art.

That’s not life. Life isn’t always sunshine, sometimes there is rain, and lots of it.

Right now– there’s rain.
A few months ago (Sometimes it feels like days, sometimes years. Time kind of stands still when life is thrown for a loop) my husband decided that he just couldn’t do this anymore..."

And then they fade away for a time. They post erratically, months pass, and suddenly you come upon this...

Letting Go ...

The brave blogger I'm writing about is Rachelle from Fingerprints On The Fridge

She has come through the storm, and she is smiling.

She and Liz are symbols of strength for women and mothers everywhere, who decided honesty is the best policy. Who couldn't make it work, and let it be known that life is not just pretty pictures on the wall.

But life goes on.

I very much admire them for being so open, because it proves that all of us live through things we never could have predicted. And survive. 

I am so damned proud of them both I could bust.

And in the honest rendering of their pain, they are helping many other women recognize theirs. And that is a gift that will resonate for a very long time.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Tweak It Tuesday #100

Last week on Tweak It Tuesday, Ranger 911 showed off her patchwork quilts. Ah, quilt love...

Can you believe we are now at #100??? You've tweaked (after this) 100 link ups! I appreciate each and every one of you. Now go forth and tweak!

An Extraordinary Day baked up some cheesy biscuits. 

Oh my. Look what Art And Sand ran across. I love Airstreams.

Bliss Ranch created a little girl's dream. Is this not the very cutest thing? 

Home On Dove Hill made muffins.

A Vintage Green showed off a vintage display.

Just Jan can always be counted on for pretty and colorful photos.

Nancy's Daily Dish, also known as the transfer ware lady, grilled up some pork chops.

Forever Decorating picked out a beautiful fabric for her porch furniture. 

Old Things New created a really pretty seaside-inspired vignette.

I really must make this, by Living The Gourmet.

Northern Cottage came up with a romantic summer canopy.

This Green House shows off a gorgeous pond.

I spent a lot of time again yesterday trying to hunt down posts to match links to feature, which means I spend a lot of time trying to get this party ready to roll. And those that are on here are ones that I could find. I tried many, many others. And could not find the posts. So that means you didn't get featured.

This time I'm only allowing PERMALINKS. So I want to emphasize how to do this again. 

Whatever post you're linking, click on your POST TITLE. Then you will see that your link changed up in the browser bar. COPY THAT. Otherwise I'm on a wild goose chase trying to find the post you just linked. DO NOT just add your blog URL. That doesn't work.

If you don't understand, email me and I will help you.

Okay, let's see what you've tweaked this week! #100!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Cooking Station Is Now Complete

I thought you'd like to revisit my apartment kitchen a month later, and see how the contact paper counter tops and back splash have held up. And what changes I've made. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Small Apartments, Big Ideas


Just because a living space is small doesn't mean it can't have everything you need. And living in an apartment doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful and unique home.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Used To Think...

There was a time I used to think the worst thing that could happen that day was that I wouldn't have time to go to Marshalls and troll the dish aisle.