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.