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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Brenda Pruitt. Powered by Blogger.

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Life After Granite Counter Tops...


I have not yet thanked you. But I will.

My life in Texas...which so many of you have not seen due to the losing of all my posts prior to summer 2013...





I come from very humble beginnings. With nary a pot to piss in.

But in Tyler, Texas, I was realizing a dream of grand gardens and pretty digs.

We completely redid the house and yard. Of course more important to me was the yard, where I spent a great amount of time and effort.

We had decorators come and redo the kitchen, with our/his input. We also had both bathrooms redone top to bottom.

(My space...)

My "garden room," as I referred to it, was my room to do anything I wanted. It was once a roofed-in patio. It still had the concrete floor with a drain in the middle that sloped downward. 

We had the walls sheet-rocked and the drain covered and evened out, then had flooring added.

It was a damned pretty place, if I say so myself.



A much younger version of my beloved Abi and Charlie outdoors in Texas...


The outdoors was heaven on earth... 





The pavilion was beautiful wood, 16 x 16 foot square. It had a ceiling fan in the top turned on by remote control. 

Beyond that were rock pathways, a garden built with stone cemented into a curved shape. And across from that, my beloved pond-less waterfall.



It started out as a pond, but the maintenance was more than I wanted to handle. Plus I lost two fish when something went wrong while I was gone and they got too hot. That left me with a sad memory, so I decided that I wanted a pond-less waterfall.


It had a very powerful pump hidden in the rocks. And the sound was unbelievable shooting down over all that stone. It was so relaxing to sit under the pavilion and listen to it.

It was where I sat when I found out that my entire marriage was a lie. I sat there and cried through many days, staring off into nothingness, trying to decide what to do. Trying to discern what was real and what was fake.

I never figured that one out...



I had not yet monetized my blog. So I had no means of income. And I knew he would find a way to string me along with finances. It was all about control.

Plus, we had NO assets, if you can believe that. Some people live on the edge. And since he insisted it was his money and not mine, I had no say-so over it.


I left all that with a very heavy heart. But, it doesn't matter if you live in a mansion if you are not happy within its walls. It would be better to live in a shack and feel contentment.


(My beloved saltwater aquarium...)

When I drove away for the last time with the pupsters, in October 2011, I did not allow myself to look back. I knew I would cry for miles.

I did anyway.


(Clyde & Bonnie, both gone now, who I miss to this day...)


And so now here I am in a patio apartment. Back to very humble beginnings. No breathtaking waterfall to close my eyes and listen to. Just a plain 1960's apartment that I now call home.

But I will work my color magic, if you will, wherever I land. I don't care if I do end up in a shack, for I will make sure it is a happy little shack. Filled with the things I love most.

Still, I have not thanked you yet...



I have been from one end of the spectrum to the other. Then back again.

When I first married him, we moved to a small town where he was the head of the hospital unit. And while driving around with a real estate agent, I was in such awe of the gorgeous turn-of-the-century homes she showed us.

I did not want new and modern. I wanted a home that epitomized a childhood I wish I'd had. A place for my eventual grandchildren to come and run up and down the stairs. A place with true character and history.

We found it. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was not palatial by any means. In 1998 it was about $150,000, with 3000 square feet. So nice by my standards, but hardly what most doctor's wives would choose.


(Flower garden in Tyler, TX...)

I went to garage sales for months to decorate that place. When the tenant moved out of the garage apartment, I finally got to go inside and see what it looked like. It had sloping floors with orange shag carpet. A man had lived there for some time, and it showed.

I proceeded to yank out that carpet, first of all, then I had the floor jacked up as much as was possible. I painted the walls and stenciled them; painted the plain wood floor white, along with the stairs that led up to the apartment.

I had a new toilet and sink installed in the bathroom. But left the old claw foot tub, and painted the outside navy blue. I put four cloth shower curtains from Target, blue and white striped, at each end, and tied them in place so that it looked like a canopy surrounding you when you bathed.

That the stained glass window looked over a burger joint did not take away from the magic of that space. Not for me anyway.

I sewed café curtains for the four windows in the main part of the garage apartment. I chose gingham in four different colors for a whimsical look.

I wish I had it now. It was the most cozy place I've decorated yet in many ways. Being up in the trees was wonderful. Watching the birds up high in the branches was an extra pleasure. But I couldn't walk those stairs now. 

The garage apartment, that we called the guest house, looked out from the front door to the pool. And my grown children came to visit and stayed there.

I know this is long, so if you've been able to bear with me this long, please bear with me just a little longer. I rarely revisit these memories.


(My old Singer turned island, Tyler, TX...)

For I have not yet thanked you...but I will.

I am left with little eccentricities that have bearing on what I truly deem necessary in a home.

I don't just hate carpet merely because it is carpet. I hate it because someone can sneak up behind you and put their hands around your neck before you've had a chance to even think.

I would truly rather have a studio apartment consisting of one large room. Then I could see every part of it, and no one could sneak up on me again. 

It is these things that stay with you.


(Breakfast nook, Tyler, TX...)

I must have total silence most of the time. It is something I also deem necessary.

I am not afraid of strangers breaking in. I have never been that way.

No, I am afraid of someone I loved who turned into a stranger. Or, more likely, was one all along. And I was too blinded by love to see it.

I no longer have granite counter tops or travertine floors, or can afford fancy house updates on a continuous basis. I no longer have pretty molding and gorgeous French doors. I no longer have a decorator to come in and help me choose my interior. 

I have come a long way. Going back to humble beginnings does not bother me in the least. I'm comfortable there. I guess it is perhaps where I belonged all along.



Though I went from being married to someone who made a six-figure income, to having very little, I am okay now. As okay as I'm probably ever going to be.

I think a humble little home suits me better anyway.

So now I'm ready to thank you. 

For sticking with me through thick and thin. For sending me perennials from your own garden, wrapped in newspaper and sent via mail. so that I would have a garden that first year after the divorce.

I thank you for staying and reading when my life went from granite counter tops to basic laminate. 

For all of it, I truly thank you. For it was all of you that pulled me through my darkest days until I could find the light again.

Cozy Little House
118 Comments
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118 comments:

  1. Congratulations on being nominated! I will have to go over and cast my vote for sure now. It was fun seeing the pics from your other home. Honestly, I can still see your style now. The house walls may have changed, but the style that you had then is still the style that you have now.

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    1. I sold a lot before I left there to have a cushion, but I also couldn't part with many things. You see them in my home today.

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  2. I already voted for you, Brenda, and you totally deserve it! I would rather visit someone with a humble home and a big heart any day over a big fancy one. Thank you for all that you have shared over the years!

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    1. I have not ever gone to this length in showing where I used to live and the years before that in that other home, for it is very hard to write it down. I'm crying as I write this reply because it's just...hard.

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  3. A great post!!! I do know how hard it can be to look at the pictures from the past!
    It is cool to see so many things in these pics, that you still use! I sure can tell the same person decorated the two places...big or small!
    I have had a hard time giving up my dream farm/home/garden when I got divorced 5 years ago...very hard...in the end, harder than the man I loved for more than 30 years...you see, I have to live in a place I love, even if I don't have to live with a man I love.
    I now have lived in my new home for 10 months...it is not a farm, but it is now home. I have made it mine, planted gardens, and more gardens, and am never happier than when I am working out there! well, maybe when Miss Bella is on my lap! I even got the Yard of the Month in my small town this month!!!!!
    So, please keep doing what you do...you sure do inspire a lot of people!!! Thank you!!!!
    Kathy

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    1. Well, good for you. Winning yard of the month is fantastic! I agree. I miss the cats and all that was more than I miss the nicer side of life. But I don't miss him in the least. Even though he visits me regularly in my nightly dreams. And I wish those dreams would go away for good.

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  4. I just went over to vote...congrats on the nomination! I always enjoy seeing your decorating style, Brenda. You have a way with color and putting things together to make your home look cozy and beautiful no matter what size the house may be.

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    1. I was out of my element with big spaces. I much prefer small spaces. They are easier to make cozy and maintain.

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  5. I voted for you!! Big congratulations on being nominated ~ you deserve it! Your home may not be big, you your heart sure is!
    Hugs (if I may) ~

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    1. You sure may! Thank you for the kind words.

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  6. I do admire you for sharing a part of your history.
    Great post. I've already voted for you:-)
    Greetings:-)

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    1. I just needed to tell you how the "now me" came to be.

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  7. if I could I'd for you 1000 times..

    your soul is and always has been your greatest asset and by golly if it was all gone tomorrow- you'd still have that...

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    1. Oh Sonny, my dear friend, you know how much I love you! I know you would.

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  8. Congratulations again, Brenda and I don't know how to thank you for mentioning me. I am humbled. I am so glad that you shared bits of your former life here today. I was not blogging during those years, I am a relative newcomer. I have always known that you have a wonderfully creative sense of decorating style, but peeking back, albeit painful, I am sure, has let me appreciate your talent on a much larger scale. Your nomination is truly deserved. Good luck!! :)

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    1. And good luck to you, my red-loving friend!

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  9. I loved your story Brenda! Thank you for sharing your memories with us! And I congratulate you on the courage to leave all that behind. I believe the same - I'd rather live in a shack and be happy and contended than live in a mansion and go through hell.
    Just to let you know I voted for you and hope your blog has loads of success!

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    1. I just want other women, who are afraid and have had their confidence beaten out of them one way or another, to understand that they really can start over. It's not easy. But they can do it if I did.

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  10. I just cast my vote for you, Brenda, but I wish there were an award for kindness and compassion in blogging, for bravery in accepting change and for openhearted sharing. You'd be a natural in all three catagories.

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    1. Oh, you just made my day! Thank you so much!

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  11. I recall your blog posts from your married days in Tyler. I enjoyed seeing your surroundings again and I hope it didn't make you sad dredging that up. Your home and yard were beautiful but you have a way of making all of your spaces beautiful and I'm thrilled for your nomination.

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    1. It did make me sad. I cried all the way through writing it and I've been sad and agitated ever since. I don't like to dwell on those days. Which is why, for those of you who have asked, that I haven't written my life story. There are so many twists and turns. Maybe someday I will summon up that courage.

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  12. I voted for you, Brenda AND I sure hope you'll be the winner.. The picture of you and your babies is so sweet.. You're a very pretty woman.
    I remember reading your blog the day you left Tyler.............you didn't know how your babies were going to be on the, I believe, three hour trip. The three of you made it and have done and been through so much since then..
    Best wishes for great days ahead.
    Charlotte

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    1. It was supposed to be a six hour trip. But, as you know, I get lost. And I did that day as well. I had to call my neighbors in Tyler to help me get back on track. Then I had to stop for gas midway through, and Abi wouldn't let me leave her, and pump the gas, even though I was never out of their sight. So that was an interesting experience. They too were affected by all we left behind.

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  13. I already voted for you also! I love your little cozy home and I'm so proud of you for surviving what had to be a terrible ordeal. You picked up your life and made it your own again. You're stronger than many and that's what matters most, not granite countertops or fancy houses. You have your own space, just yours. I did the same thing, and have just started in my new home. And have just started my own blog a few days ago, inspired by you and the other bloggers I love visiting so much! http://www.mountainmamaonline.net/

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    1. I will for sure come visit you! And I commend you for being able to start over. It is scary. Welcome to Blog Land!

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  14. Brenda when I voted I noticed what a kind face and sweet smile you have. I hope and pray for better days in the future. By that I mean easier days. So that you know you have enough funds to pay for what needs to be paid for. Children who you know love you even if you don't see them often. I have learned to make new friends leaving old ones as you say that it the way they wanted it. I enjoy my projects like you do yours. Just wishing you the absolute best coming up.

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    1. Why, thank you. Life is a series of hardships. And like they say, I believe that what doesn't kill you does make you stronger. There was a blogger named Christine that got away with her children. Started a new life. And he found her and killed her and one child anyway, then himself. Just before Christmas a few years ago. I wrote about it. I knew that could have been me.

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  15. What you have now is peace and a happy heart!

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  16. A home is about much more than the house and yard, or the furnishings that it contains. It's about the heart of the person that lives in the house. That's why you're already the winner Brenda!

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    1. Oh, you're so sweet. The other contenders look like they've accomplished a lot. I'm just a little home and garden blogger who has managed to pass the test of time.

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  17. Just got back from voting, Brenda--congratulations!!! You truly have the best eye for design I've ever seen, be in the "big house" or in the small home you've made special. I would much rather eat taters and peas (yum) than live beholden to someone who doesn't love me. Bless you! Love, Mary Ann

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    1. You know, I blame myself. I'm very critical of myself for not seeing what I was getting into. But some men are utterly charming until they have full control I think.

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  18. Brenda,
    You have such a wonderful way with your words and expressing your inner thoughts. Your post touched me today. When bad things happen to someone I always feel it it so teach us something or to show us something.
    You have learned such a great insight to what is important in life. It is you and not the things around you that matter. Beautiful collection of thoughts today.
    Kris

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    1. And I know you and your beloved have to pick up and move soon from a home you love. It won't be easy. But there will be good things too. And you will likely gain important insight from the experience.

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  19. Congratulations on your nomination, Brenda! It's wonderful that somebody nominated you for this award. It goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a warm cozy home and write about it and the ups and downs of life in your blog. You really have come full circle and I hope you win!

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    1. I may never know who it was. But I thank them for thinking of me in my little digs with the pupsters.

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  20. Brenda,
    Such a pleasure to see your home in Tyler, I know how much you enjoyed living in Texas.
    Home is where the heart is and once again you have made a very comfy home for you and pupsters.
    Congrats on you nomination and I am wishing you the very best.
    Jemma

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    1. Yes, my dear friend. We are both the same age and I think on the same wave length. Wanting to reach out to those women in trouble and give them a hand.

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  21. .Voted . I began reading your blog not very long before you had left Texas . I don't remember seeing pictures of your house but I remember loving the amazing photos of your garden . I remember being quite sure you were a professional photographer . I've voted for you and sincerely hope the award is of help in your writing and photography career.

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    1. I'm so glad some of you got to see my gardens. I was very proud of them!

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  22. It was a pleasure to vote for you Brenda! I love your cozy home and patio garden!

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    1. I guess you can look at it like this: Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. So no matter the circumstances, your home will always reflect you.

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  23. It certainly confirms the saying that money can't buy happiness...It must have been hell to leave your beautiful kitties behind...Brenda..your place now is just as pretty..it is just not so big..You want the answer to what is real and what is fake..You are real Brenda...he was fake..is fake..and most likely will always be fake..You so deserve this nomination...much more than anyone with a big fancy house...because you have survived..and you persevere..

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    1. Oh Nancy, you have always commented here with such loyalty. I so thank you for sticking in there with me, for the good and the bad.

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  24. I voted! Wishing you a big win. I remember all those photos well.

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    1. Gina, you've been with me a very long time!

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  25. I remember your garden and patio space from Texas. I loved it back then and love the patio space you have created now. I don't comment often but I do keep up with you and I'm so very proud of what you have achieved and overcome. Take care.

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    1. Well, commenting is not necessary, Patricia. Reading is what counts most.

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  26. Congratulations. I'm sure it was bittersweet to take that walk done memory lane with us. Thanks for sharing your heart and your home. You inspire.

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  27. Good luck to you Brenda. I enjoy your writing very much! I have been reading since you were in Texas. How is Judy since John has been gone?

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  28. I just turned in my vote for you.
    I remember following you way back when you lived in Tyler.
    I think you are amazing, Brenda, I'm so glad you were nominated for this award.

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    1. Have you really been following me that long? Thanks!

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  29. I voted for you! You make a home of any size very special!

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    1. Oh Carlene, and you can take any piece of junk and turn it into a treasure.

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  30. Brenda, I was in your neighborhood the other day and thought about stopping by but since I hadn't called you before hand, I decided to make it another day! I loved reading your story. I know exactly what you are talking about. I, also, had to leave a place I thought I would be in for the rest of my life. It wasn't easy but I have to say, God has blessed me even more than I could have ever imagined back in those days! No, I don't have the money I had back then but I also don't have the horrible marriage I had, either. I left everything except my two children. I mean everything, including clothes and the baby's bottles and diapers, but I made it and I'm glad that chapter was closed almost 25 years ago! I've already voted, by the way. I will try to remember to call the next time I am over your way! I would love to visit, again!

    Grace & Peace

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    1. And I'd love to have you visit! I'm glad you made it out. Sounds like you had to leave in a hurry. The important thing is, we made it!

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  31. Congratulations on your nomination, hope you win. I voted, probably twice. Sharing your story must be hard, but you inspire us all. I pray peace for you, but that is what you have created. You home is truly lovely, lived in, and oh so cozy. Thank you for all you do.

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    1. I think sharing our stories is how we women keep one another strong. We help one another and persevere.

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  32. I voted for you, met you long ago, and have loved your blog for a long time. You gave something very special in decor, photography, and expressing yourself. I have had Yorkies, and love dogs. I pray for all the vest for you in every way!

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    1. Thank you, Terry. Yorkies are special little dogs, aren't they?

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  33. Congratulations on your nomination! I'm happy to vote for you-I enjoy your blog so much!

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    1. Thank you, Jan. I'm so glad to have you for a reader.

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  34. You have my vote Brenda and I just shared it on FB too!!

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    1. Martina, you're so sweet! I just sent you an email.

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  35. I voted, and I hope you win. Boy, these pictures really brought back a lot of memories. Your blog was the first one I ever really fell in love with, and I've walked with you through all the ups and downs. You've been such a good friend to me. So I say, "Thank YOU!"

    Mary

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    1. And Mary, you've been a very loyal friend to me. I remember in my dark days that summer before I left, your calling to check up on me.

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  36. Hi Brenda! I've already voted for you and would do it again if I could. I so remember your blog when you lived in Texas, that's when I met you. I loved what you did to your home and knew the joy you felt in your outdoor space. But...home is where you are and you have made your apartment 'you'. You may not have the things you used to have but you tell us you have a peace and that's wonderful. You're surrounded by your little fuzzy faces who love you and we do too! We are family, you know! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Yes, you are all certainly my family. Perhaps not my family of origin. But really I lost them when I was an infant. I'm sorry you lost Chloe Dawn. I know how much you must miss her.

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  37. Thank you for sharing this story of what was and now is. Your writing had very heartfelt, Brenda. I'm somewhat new to Cozy Little Home and I appreciate you opening up to everyone. BTW, I've already voted for you!

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    1. Welcome, Carol! Well, you will read about lots of things here. Decorating, gardening, slice of life, a bit of everything. I hope you enjoy reading.

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  38. Beautiful post, my sweet friend. As you know, I already voted for you, but I would keep doing it if they would let me. I remember that house and I remember how much you loved it, but I'm so happy that you got the hell out of there and that you're safe now. You deserve every happiness.

    (((hugs)))
    rue

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    1. What is it with you and me and choosing men? I think we are romantics at heart, and our common sense gets overwhelmed when a man fawns over us.

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  39. I voted for you as soon as heard yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I never knew what you had to deal with. And look at you now, how far you have come, and you did it without help from your ex. I am sure God was helping you all along the long road to where you are now. You are one AMAZING woman, and you must be very proud of yourself. I know I am so proud of you, without ever meeting you, but then again, it seems I know you well, after reading your blog for some time now. If I could vote for you every day, I would do that, but I will keep my fingers crossed, your blog is one of the BEST!!!!

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    1. Actually, I don't feel pride. Instead I feel shame. Maybe that is just because I feel I didn't choose people wisely to have in my life. Maybe it is because that is how certain people wanted me to feel, and fostered that in me. I wish I could feel pride. Maybe one day I will.

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  40. Congratulations on the nomination, Brenda. I hope you win.

    Gosh, I read your blog way back then and I adored your pavilion and gardens. And I loved how you decorated your house and I'd be excited right along with you when you found a treasure you really liked. I really admired, and still do, how creative you were and still are in regards to how you use things to decorate.

    Your time in Tyler seems like a million years ago to me now.

    I grew up in a one-bedroom house with my divorced mother and younger sister. And for a time we had a lodger, can you believe that? Four of us in the bedroom with my mother, sister, and myself in a full-sized bed and our boarder slept in a twin-sized bed. LOL It just cracks me when I think back on it.

    Then when I was first married, we had a small apartment, and 30 years ago we bought the house I live in now, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house built in 1953. So I've always lived in small quarters. So your Tyler home sounds pretty darn big to me even if it wasn't up to par with the homes of other doctors. :-)

    You are so right about better to live in a small place and be happy than to be miserable in a mansion. But you have every right to feel sad about losing your beautiful home and cats through no fault of your own. It's like your happy life and home was stolen from you.

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    1. It does seem like a million years ago. I grew up in a one bedroom house sleeping with my grandmother and my great-grandmother in the other bed. So not quite as bad as your situation! But oh, how I wanted my own space. And as an adult, I still very much need my own private space. Losing the cats was really the worst part.

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  41. Brenda, I've told you many, many times that you are such an amazing woman! Sharing this story about your previous life...where you were, where you are now...shows what a strong, resilient person you are. You have persevered in all of your adversity and have come out on top....from being in a bad marriage, to losing your blog, to someone stealing your blog, to rebuilding it all...just amazing!! You so deserve this nomination and so deserve to win the award! And thank you so much for all of the help you have given me...all the encouragement and for listening when I need to chat! It is much appreciated and I'm so glad we are friends! Love ya!! Hugs!!!

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    1. We are not only friends, Benita. We are "sisters." We came out of the same kind of environment. But I truly feel that yours was far worse and I know for much longer. I'm so glad you're here now and have become my friend!

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  42. Thank you for sharing pictures from your Texas home. The breakfast nook reminds me of your space now. I am happy that you have a peaceful home now. You always inspire me to make my home comfortable for me & my family. I have window boxes & enjoy gardening in containers also.

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    1. I thought the same thing when I came across that photo. The breakfast nook was most "me."

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  43. Congratulations on your nomination! I went over and voted for you; sure hope you win. Your Tyler home was pretty and I know you loved it and your outdoor space, but I think this studio apartment you currently have is just as beautiful. I personally think if you lived in a box by the side of the road, it would be the cutest place ever! You have so much decorating and gardening talent. Thank you for sharing all those talents with us!

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    1. I would sure try my best to make if a "cozy box!"

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  44. Congratulations on your nomination and thanks for sharing, so we could vote for you. I placed my vote and hope you win. You have come a long way since your home in Texas and you should be very proud of yourself -- you're a survivor. Whether you know or not, your blog has kept a lot of us hopeful for changes in our own lives. May God bless you and carry you under his wings.

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    1. And that is why I write about my own experiences, so that I can, hopefully, touch someone else who is going through something very similar. And help her to find her way forward.

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  45. I am so happy for you, Brenda---you have my vote for sure. I do remember your home in Texas. Never be ashamed that you had those 3000 square feet or the luxuries, that's the life you had even thought your ex was hiding so much. What you did with that home is as admirable as you have done with each home since--made it YOU!

    Jane x

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    1. Thanks Jane. Yes, you and I go w-a-y back!

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  46. You are so right, things mean nothing if you aren't content in those walls but I did enjoy a peak at your old house cause girl you are the color queen and I LOVE that! Notice the all white has gone out of favor.

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  47. Already voted the other day :)

    I was not reading blogs back when you had the Texas place but what is interesting is that in showing those older rooms I'd recognize they were yours anyway! :)

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  51. I voted for you and I hope you win!! I think it takes more talent to decorate a small apartment on little to no budget than it does to decorate a big fancy house! You have such a warm and colorful style that just makes me smile. My favorite blogs are small cottages, a little worn aroung the edges with real peoples stuff cluttering it. Oops, I guess I just described my cottage and your apartment. They are both comfortable and homey! A place where you can relax and feel safe. I really hope you win!

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    1. I think it's hard for large homes to feel comfy and cozy. I know it can be done. But I need smaller digs to do it in.

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  52. i just subscribed to this wonderful blog.
    and i just voted for you. it was my plan to vote each day until i read rue's comment! LOL.
    best of luck to you dearest bean!

    but then... you don't need luck. win or lose this contest...
    you have won in the bigger contest... of life itself.
    you are a talented and gracious survivor.

    and little cozy houses are the best anyway. always give me one over a huge mansion any day.
    i live in a 525 square foot upstairs one room apartment that i call 'the wren house.'
    and i absolutely love it.

    I've been a widow for 36 years of my 70. i married young and he died at 43 of cancer.
    i also had to adjust to a whole new life. in every way.
    but. it was easier for me. when you're adored by a fine man who truly loved you and cared for you... even for only sixteen years... it's different than living with a monster and surviving.

    and you are a survivor... i can see that. blessings heaped upon your head dear bean.
    see ya in the trenches! xo

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    1. I'm glad you like your home. It's so important to love what surrounds you. And I've so very glad you had that love and the memories to sustain you. I envy you that!

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  53. Congratulations on your nomination, Brenda! It was "weird" seeing your photos from your house in Texas...I remember reading your blog back then and I loved your beautiful home and patio area. Of course, us readers didn't know back then, the turmoil you were going through. I can only imagine how painful it was for you to write this post and post these photos. I didn't know you even still had them. I remember your beloved kitties, too. One thing's for sure: you certainly have the knack for making wherever you live - even the small space you're living in now - a beautiful, comfortable, peaceful place to live. Blessings to you, my friend.

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    1. Melanie, I still have all those photos. I just don't go look at them much. Too painful. Yesterday kind of wore me out, so I didn't post today.

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  54. I have lived alone in tiny apartments and in houses that were too big for two people. It's how safe you feel when in the house that matters. If it wraps it's walls around you and makes you feel all warm and snuggly, well... that's what matters the most. xo

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  55. Congrats on your nomination; and your friends also....I just voted for all 3 of you....your sense of style is superb and I love to look at your pictures. What happens in our lives makes us who we are. Our homes become our sanctuary and you have made yours very special....thanks for sharing yours.

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  56. As one that has lost 2 homes and moved and lost all 3 times and started over, I can appreciate how the loss of what you worked so hard on affects you. I did this with a wife, who has been with me for 33 years now, and 4 kids, so I did not have to face it alone or deal with trust issues. I am now buying an old- well, when I was a kid we laughingly called them 'hanydman's dreams'. My basement wall crumbled- blocks actually split and fell off- I have leaks everywhere, the electrical is outdated and potentially a hazard, and the floors are falling in in places. But I am buying it with my oldest son and live with him, his wife and mine, and my youngest son. Modest dreams and plans, but it comes with a contentment not found when we sacrificed all to have that dream home that slowly killed us and robbed us of our souls. Work with what you have! You have given me new enthusiasm to work with little and use lots of color. I am in danger of abandoning my minimalist outlook for a bold new world.....

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    1. Sounds like you have been through it and back. Do you believe that it builds character? Or is that just a nice phrase to wrap around pain? Try a little color and see how it makes you feel.

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  57. I found my stomach in knots reading this and seeing the pictures, some of which I remember well. You have the attitude I wish I would have if this happened to me and yet I truthfully get mad just thinking about what happened to you. It was a beautiful and personal house and garden. I remember your neighbors you wrote about and your kitchen that I always felt epitomized the name of your blog.

    And yet I have seen you make a cozy little house at the blue cottage and now here. You will do that where ever you move to. I still can't help being mad about the necessity for it, Brenda.

    But I will vote for you and the others, didn't even realize it as I've taken time away lately. But it will be an honor to vote.

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    1. Dewena, I have no doubt that this IS the attitude you would have! You are a strong woman. I don't know why it still affects me so. But yesterday, after having written this the day before, I was as wrung out as a worn dish rag. Seeing those photos, seeing my kitties, remembering. A heavy weight was dragging me down.

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  58. Brenda, I just voted for you. You are such a brave, talented woman.

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  59. Congratulations on the well deserved nomination. Your story is very inspiring... You know, about those blogs whose owners have ery big houses, I sometimes wonder how many of them are really happy or really faking it.

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    1. I just read about a blogger who finally admitted her marriage was over, had been for months. She bought a one way ticket out of the country. I admire her courage. I too wonder. And my readers write me asking me the very same question.

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  60. You are strong! And in the south some might say you have "gumption." That's the mark of a survivor! Heading over to vote for you now. Sheila

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    1. Well, I think it was my loyal readers who gave me "gumption." I don't think I could ever have had the nerve to do what I did without them. I was absolutely terrified when I took the money out of the bank to give to my attorney. I hid out in a hotel with the dogs, wondering what would happen when I saw him. Taking the money he considered only "his." I told my attorney that he would take all this very badly. So he sent someone immediately to the state hospital to serve him so I could get it over with. Still, I had to live in the same house with him about another month till the court date. For in TX, you can't kick a man out of his house, even if you have a restraining order. Now THAT was hell.

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  61. Hi
    I have your subscriber for ever ...I used to read your posts from your Texas home and love to see all the colour and positivity I felt after reading. I read all your posts even to this date and congratulate you for your ability to change a house into a home. It's amazing how you can make any space look beautiful .
    You are a very genuine and honest person and that what I like about you and your blog.Best wishes to you...may you win...

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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