Friday, November 1, 2013

Our First-Year Blog Anniversary

R.H. and I have completed one year of blogging here at Across the Way,
 our marriage intact.

Think of that!

Despite the hours I've spent on blogging instead of on things I really should have been doing, like cooking a good supper, or even making it to the grocery store, folding laundry so that clean underwear would actually be in his drawer, or remembering to pay the electric bill on time, we made it.

Despite sometimes having a blank look on my face, my nose in the laptop, when he returned home from work and asked, "Did you feed the birds?"

 Birds? We have birds?

But we survived and so did the birds.

One year ago today, Across the Way magically appeared on the World Wide Web, all because of one dear, patient woman in Oklahoma who so many of you out there know as Brenda of Cozy Little House blog. She literally walked me through each step--I take that back. She literally took those steps herself, setting it up for me by phone, recognizing me for the tech ignoramus I was, but also understanding that I had a longing to be part of this wonderful world of blogging.

So again, and forever, thank you so much, Brenda of Cozy Little House [visit her here]. 

Not only did my first post--Our Fledgling Flight [click here]--about how we found this old farmhouse with barn and outbuildings and 24 acres appear, but Brenda included me in her Welcome Wagon Friday the next day, such an exciting thing for this new blogger! And everyone who knows Brenda knows what that meant. It meant that so many sweet people came by and visited Across the Way and welcomed R.H. and me to blogging. And that was the beginning of many cyber-friendships, the hidden treasure of blogging. [And please forgive me for not answering those comments by email as it was weeks before I knew that I could go to the email and find them.]

Why have I been showing you these pictures today? Because Brenda is responsible for them too. She just doesn't know it yet. A few weeks ago she showed a sideboard of one talented blogger. I commented that my own sideboard was such a problem child because it sat, not centered, under two high, narrow windows and I had such trouble making it look good. Brenda emailed back and said to feature the windows instead. I wrote back, "But they're so ugly!" I told her I would study on it though, maybe paint them purple. She answered, "You go, girl!"

I did not paint those ugly windows purple, but I did study on it, a lot. I stared at it from my place at the kitchen table.

I stood in front of it despairing. What a sideboard needed was a blank space above it to work with, not two high narrow windows with an air conditioner in the wall beside it and a skylight above that to add more confusion.

The good Lord must have taken pity on me because all of a sudden I turned around and looked at the tall wall opposite the sideboard where a green china cabinet stood. Why not switch the two pieces of furniture? The next rainy day our two sons, Gurn and Zack, who live in Nashville, one right next door to us, showed up for work, helping me first empty out everything from both pieces of furniture and then moving them out from the walls, washing down the walls and cleaning the floors before switching the china cabinet for the sideboard.

Then they took down an old window that R.H. had made into a mirror that was hanging in the office by my desk--which only reflected the mess of paperwork--and rehung it above the sideboard.

Then they polished the insides of both pieces of furniture and helped me replace the dishes in both.

Do I have great kids, or what!

Next came the fun part, just in time for October's beautiful pumpkins. This was my inspiration picture:

I don't remember what magazine this came out of as I tore it out years ago. Maybe some of you will recognize it and let me know so I can credit the magazine, please. The writing on it says: "…with no needles to drop, Annette's alternative tree…lasts well into the New Year."

I intend to do just that, keep it up through the New Year, but after Thanksgiving I will remove the pumpkins and substitute something more Christmasy.

R.H. found the branches in a small shrub tree at the edge of our hillside wood lot. He filled a pottery vase he found at Goodwill with sand after the branches had been put in and we enjoyed the beauty of the green leaves first. And I had the fun of arranging October's bounty around it.

Then R.H. patiently removed each one of the green leaves (probably while I was doing blog business.). 

The next day I began pruning off unnecessary twigs.

Then came the tiny little LED lights around the branches and the vintage Shiny Brite orange ornaments. Last came the little glass ornaments that were to represent all the wonderful wildlife we enjoy here at Valley View, the birds and owls, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, and raccoons. I couldn't find a glass deer ornament so they're represented by the statue at the base of the pumpkin.

I'm still looking for an opossum and a not so welcome wildlife, the coyote. I did throw in a brown bear for fun.

I have one last ornament to show you, a very important peanut.

Yes, we do buy raw peanuts in the shell for our wildlife but this peanut is in honor of my dear blog sister, Tammy from The Peanut on the Table blog [click here] who has been very ill but is now getting better every day. Hugs and love to Tammy of The Peanut! 

Thank you, to my readers out there! You are the best!

And finally, a huge thank you to R.H., my cameraman, who puts up with me saying, "Quick, grab the camera. The light's just right now." And, "No, I mean from this angle." And "Don't get the floor in the shot. It needs mopping." 

And the one he most hates to hear, "Why can't you get the steam coming off the soup?"

Thanks, baby, for all the football games I've interrupted.

Thank you for all the time your food got cold while you were photographing it for me.

Twelve months!

Think of that!

Thank you so much for visiting Across the Way,



  1. Dewena- I am off for the weekend but I read your blog and wanted to pop in and say Congratulations! You have done a wonderful job with blogging. It has been fun getting to know you and I am so glad that Brenda took the time to help you form your blog. What a blessing she has been to so many. Have a wonderful weekend and I LOVE the way your sideboard turned out- That is the perfect spot for it- xo Diana
    ps-see ya Monday

  2. Dewena, I wish Brenda lived next door to me . Or some of the young computer whiz kids out there. I like all your sideboard shots. Very nice. Your kids did well helping. R.H. (does that mean Real Honey) is so good to help too. Blessings to all of you, xoxo,Susie

  3. Congrats on the one year of blogging. I do like how you decorated your sideboard. It looks so pretty.

  4. Happy Blog-o-versary! I don't think I knew you lived in Nashville. My youngest sister lives there, in East Nashville -- great area! Isn't it funny how sudden inspiration like yours about moving furniture makes such a difference? Love the new sideboard vignette!

  5. Congratulations, Dewena and RH! You've created a wonderful blog! I chuckled through this post, relating so much, like the hours spent on blogging instead of doing other things, and of course telling the family "don't eat that yet, I have to take pictures!" And -- the sideboard looks perfect!!!

  6. My dear friend,

    Such inspiration and exciting preparations for your one year blog anniversary post! I knew you were planning something extra special to commemorate the happy occasion and I'm so happy that everything turned out the way you had envisioned it. What a sweet and charming tribute to your cooperative project with your talented photographer and hubby; R.H.'s pictures are always the perfect complement to your entertaining, well written prose; what a team you two make!

    The sideboard vignette twinkles so softly, covering all the wonderful motifs of your farmhouse in an autumnal glow, reminding you and your readers of the sweet memories that have been shared this past year, among a harvest of the season's stars.

    Congratulations Dewena and R.H., here's to many, many more posts about your charming farmhouse and all the fun and festivities you share in its beautiful space, with your loving family and friends.


  7. Congratulations on one year of blogging, you have a beautiful blog and your posts are inspiring and wonderfully written, I thoroughly enjoy them! The peanut was awesome and so touching...I pray for our friend everyday!
    I send you good wishes and many posts to be written.

  8. Dewena and R.H, thank you for inviting us into your home this year! Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Your blog always touches my heart!

  9. I found you through Brenda's blog, and I'm so glad I did!

  10. Congratulations on a year of blogging Dewena!

    Your sideboard looks amazing!

  11. Wow, lots of work going on in your you have your own photographer who follows you about! Nice hubby :) Congrats on your first anniversary. It's been a pleasure getting to know you :)

  12. I love your sideboard celebration tree with its little sparkling lights and all of the glass critter ornaments! Congratulations on your blogging anniversary.

  13. Congratulations on the 1 year anniversary mom! This year has gone by so fast, i really do like that tree and the way you and dad decorated it. I think it looks even better than the one in the magazine!! Gurn and i always enjoy helping you change up the furniture! ;-) Love You Mom and Dad!!!

  14. Oh, happy, happy day! Congratulations. I didn't realize you had just started blogging! I must have caught you at the very beginning of your adventure, and I could have sworn you had been at it for years ahead of me! Such a natural you are!

  15. Oh, Dewena, what a wonderful post for your first anniversary. Congratulations! I think I remember seeing those branches in a magazine before. You really made them come to life on your sideboard. The animal ornaments make it very special. You are a special lady and have a great husband too. Here's to many more years of posting.

  16. In OTHER and Brenda dreamed up a bunch of Honey-Do stuff for the men folk recently , ha ha ha, Dewena it all looks great and worked out so well! Congrats on your one year anniversary as well. I love your place...actually have a link to it in the next sunday special post : )

    That little squirrel on the books is adorable.

  17. Congratulations on your blog anniversary. You and your husband make a great blog team! I have enjoyed getting to know you through your blog, and I appreciate the time you take to read my blog and faithfully comment.

    I always love your book references and lovely quotes and am looking forward to many more posts from you in the future.

    Hugs to you and your helpful husband!

  18. I enjoyed this post so much, Dewena. It gave me even more insight into your marriage. I think it's so cute how R. H. does all the photography as you direct him. I'd like to hang out with you two. It would be a lot of fun, I know. The sideboard is a wonderful piece. Your sons are amazing; to do all that work for their mom speaks volumes of their love for you. Brenda is a dear; we only just met, but already I can see she what a gracious woman she is. I enjoyed reading "Our Fledgling Flight". Such a special story, and place. No wonder you love it so much. Congratulations on your blog anniversary. May you blog for many, many more years so I can continue to be uplifted by your posts. Blessings to you and R.H. ~ Nancy

    I love this post! and not because the peanut has a place of honor in that magnificent tree!!!
    I just love this post.
    the color and delight and the black and white floor and the inspired non-designed design of that beautiful home. the best kind of design that's perfect and just evolves from loving and living.
    the lovably grumpy face of RH and the angelic sister of my blogging heart!
    here's to many many many more anniversaries! XOXOXO

  20. Loved this display! Congratulations on your 1 year blogging anniversary. Seems like only a few months ago you were talking about doing it. I didn't know Brenda helped you set it up. She is such a dear. Loved seeing a photo of you too so I know who I am talking to.

  21. Happy blogaversary! I am so happy I clicked on your post on Brenda's welcome wagon. I have never had the opportunity to visit with her like you but I am sure glad I tuned in and found you! Your blog is a source of happiness for me! Always so much cheer. Hope your daughter is doing well and those sons are sure terrific helping you redo your furniture pieces! My house is too small for all the people and things in it! SOmetimes I feel so ungrateful for feeling this way but I love for my house to look like a home and it is just not that way now! So I enjoy seeing your fun! I wish you many years of blogging fun. Some of the very nicest folks are here and it is a joy to spread them around! Thanks for being a part of it all. Hugs Anne

  22. Happy Anniversary, Dewena! You are such a warm and welcoming presence here in Blogland and I am so happy you hit publish a year ago.


  23. Big HUGE congratulations Dewena! I love your festive branches and those glass ornaments. I have a huge collection of glass ornaments. Love them to pieces. I just saw a little glass whale with a golden water pout from the blow hole. It was so precious; I don;t know why I didn't buy it then and there. I'm going back for it. :)

  24. I haven't read all of your posts...yet...but since your memorable series on February Faces, my favorites are: The White Swan, Blogging for Ballast, A Hostess to Herself, Recipe, and Ray Bradbury. Not enough space here to tell you what I especially liked about each, but plenty of space to offer my congratulations and thank you for your kind comments to me on my blog--kind comments from a kind woman.

  25. Congrats! You've got such a sweet supportive family! (And Brenda is a doll, too!) Your fall vignette is gorgeous :)

  26. I had to smile a bit reading your post Dewena. I think many bloggers can so relate to so many things you said, not the least of which was your admiration for Brenda. She is one amazing woman. I want to be just like her when I grow up ;).

    You have done such a fabulous job with your blog in just one year! Look at all the good wishes you've gotten already. You're a natural, and we are all the better for your presence here in blogland.

  27. It took me awhile to get over here, but what a beautiful post with all your pretty photos! And I so thank you for giving me so much credit. This is YOUR and your husband's creation, from start to finish. I only gave you a nudge or two.

  28. Happy Anniversary! I love that you do this with your sweet R.H and that even your children help out. Your tree looks wonderful!

  29. Dewena, Congratulations on the one year anniversary. Well done -- by the entire family! I love that your husband gets involved in the blogging adventure you're on. And what great young men you raised! The sideboard looks so pretty with the window mirror hanging over it, and I love your branches and how you've decorated them. I will look forward to seeing the seasonal changes on your "tree". You have some gorgeous pumpkins surrounding the base of your tree. The entire vignette looks beautiful. I'm pinning it. Pretty picture of you. laurie

  30. Dewena, Congratulations on your one year blogging anniversary! That is quite a milestone! Your husband and sons are gems! I really enjoyed reading every word of your blog post and can so relate to how much time it takes to get those posts ready. Your sideboard looks wonderful in the new spot and I adore the mirrored window. You'll have fun decorating that spot all year long. Brenda was so kind in helping you get started and welcoming you to the world of blogging. I love the photo of Mr. R.H. and your photo is beautiful. It's nice to see the face behind the blogger.

  31. Hi Dewena! Your sideboard looks wonderful and I love the pretty Fall vignette you created. Congrats on your blogging anniversary and I look forward to following along in your 2nd year and beyond. Take care, xx, Sherry

  32. Congrats on hanging in there for a year, with many more to come I trust. Your sideboard looks great with your fall vignette.
    Mary Alice

  33. Happy Birthday to your blog! I love reading stories about kind bloggers....they really are the best, aren't they!!!
    LOVE your decorations. They are making me smile tonight!!! I just took down all the orange and black in our house and used a few subtle neutrals in the dining room.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  34. Happy Birthday a little late. I enjoyed reading the story of the difficult sideboard. What you did is so smart! Since little rambunctious Molly came to live there is no Christmas tree. The first year she was here I did a twig tree with only my peppermint striped ornaments. It was fun. I hope we get to see your Christmas interpretations.

  35. Happy blog birthday, Dewena! I loved every bit of your post about how you got started, your problems with furniture placement, your family's kind help and how cute your tree turned out. I am so glad Brenda got you started!


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