Monday, October 2, 2017

Cottage Life - The Things You Discover When You Don't Blog

I know fall has arrived when I see the golden hue of the large crab apple tree in our neighbor's yard. Saturday morning the sky was dark with rain clouds to the west, and as the sun broke through on the east the light was so spectacular that I grabbed my phone and scooted outdoors to photograph the tree and the red barn at the end of our alley. 



Every time I see that old barn with its fabulous patina I smile, but especially in the fall. Just imagine the barn with a plethora of pumpkins and a scarecrow nestled against it and, in my opinion, you have the ideal autumn scene.

If you're a regular reader of A Joyful Cottage you know this is my first post after a month-long blogging break. While I enjoy the interaction with A Joyful Cottage readers, I must confess that I loved every minute away from my computer. Suddenly I had hours to pursue the things I love, such as regular country walks with a friend, and lunch with another.




I had time to complete a custom rug order.




And begin a new rug.




Time to make a shabby chic gift for a dear friend in the hospital using a new technique for making fabric collages.





Time to attend an art show in Joseph, Oregon with my husband. His "Red Barn" won second place in the En Plein Air Competition.



Time to travel with Dennis to Palouse Falls in Washington state where he painted while I explored the area.












Time for reflection.



Time to breathe and listen.







My blogging break gave me more time to restore my soul with scripture. More time to soak up God's word daily.



I even had time to attack a long neglected project: the makeover of this old hutch into one more fitting for our cottage style. I'm working on it, and will reveal it when it's finished.



Blogging takes up so much of my time. Way too much. It's not just the taking of photos, writing text and posting. It's the visits to other blogs -- the blogs of people who take the time to visit and comment here. I know there are bloggers who don't reply to every comment or make return visits, but I've never been able to do that. It just seems dismissive to me. Sorry if you feel differently, and it's okay if you do. I'm not judging you. But that's just not my style. Another part of this is that blogging has changed so much in the 7 years I've been at it. Blogs I used to enjoy and read regularly have gone to monetization with ads that take for-EV-er to load and pop-ups that ruin the moment for me, and I've simply run out of patience. The other day I found a post through Pinterest that I really wanted to read, but after the endless Google Adwords searching, loading and reloading ads on the page which delayed the content, I just clicked off. I understand that people want to earn money with their blogs. Shoot, it takes a lot of time to post good content -- it's a full-time job for many -- and those hours sitting behind a computer deserve monetary reward. I very briefly tried ads on my blog and considered going the commercial route, but I'd much rather find another way to make a few dollars. 

The Living Large In Small Spaces series is a black hole for time. It takes hours and hours to hunt down cottages and small homes to feature every week, days to contact people who own them and make sure I have their permission to share them (and sometimes I never get a reply).  Again, I realize there are bloggers who don't go this extra step, but I feel it's necessary that I respect the intellectual property of others and give credit where credit is due. It's how I want to be treated.

I'm closer to 70 now and I feel like life just has to become simpler. It's why we moved here, why we built a small cottage. But somehow living has become more complicated and I feel time slipping away. So I've come to a couple of decisions. First, I won't be blogging much. I'm not saying I'll give it up completely, just that I refuse to be tied down to the computer any longer. I'll blog occasionally, when I have something I want to share. As for the series "Living Large In Small Spaces", I've written 116 posts over three years and I feel it's time to let it go, at least as a weekly contribution. If I find a cottage that really speaks to me, I'll most likely share it, but I don't want to feel the pressure of coming up with a regular feature.

There are other decisions I've reached to further simplify my life: I've closed the online shop. After four months I came to realize that online sales are not for me. I don't like the photographing, shipping calculations, marketing, and being bombarded with emails from the shop host, Ebay, Amazon and other places that want me to expand my business. I'm so busy trying to manage all of it that I have no time to create product. And without product there's no reason to have a store. Last year at the Christmas bazaar I earned in two days what I cleared in four months in my online shop after expenses. Clearly, there's a message here: 


Keep. It. Simple.

Dennis and I are also talking about how to simplify the garden. Yes, it's beautiful. But it demands a lot of work and we're not sure that that's how we want to spend our summers. We're still pondering this, considering how we can keep it pretty but more manageable.

For the past eighteen months I've struggled with what to do with my blog. It's just not the fun it once was, and I always said when the fun ends I'll quit. I'm not ready to throw in the towel, but I am ready to narrow my focus. I've really come to appreciate creative bloggers that are kindred spirits, whose blogs reflect real life with all its struggles, victories, and who write with joy. We're living in troubled times, but I have faith in God and hope for the future. I want my life and my blog to reflect that. It's what's in my heart. 

Thanks for wading through this long post. I promise not be this wordy in the future; there's just a lot to say after a 31 day absence.

God bless you.









53 comments:

  1. Very well said, Nancy. Simple is best, I agree. Blogging requires a huge amount of time, no matter how you do it and if you are not enjoying it, it becomes a huge chore. I stepped back a bit this summer, in favor of travel, family visits and a chance to stick my toes in the sand. I am happy to be back at it in a more deliberate way again, but I have definitely returned with a more laissez faire attitude....and like you, when it stops being fun. I quit. Lastly, I agree about the ads. I have them on my own site and to be honest, the ad company often makes changes that I don't even know about until a reader clues me in. Based on reading choices, desktop/ mobile, personal searches, etc., what shows up on my computer is not always what shows up on yours and that can be frustrating for everyone involved. Enjoy your free time my friend and good luck with that garden... :)

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  2. Sounds like you've come up with some good decisions for yourself.....and made good use of your time away. I continue to blog for self-expression (knowing I am not widely read doesn't bother me).

    Keeping life simple and suited to one's own realities is what matters. Having time for friends and for prayer and spiritual renewal, too...

    Hope to see you here now and again. I missed you ♥

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  3. Congrats to Hubby. I know what you mean about blogging. We will miss you, but eager to see your next post when it comes.

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  4. I so understand everything you're feeling. I let my blog go unless I really feel super inspired to create something there. I'm glad I kept it up because there are occasions I do feel inspired to use it, but I don't feel guilty if I let it languish. It's for me, and only me. Time is so precious now, isn't it? I want every moment to count when there are so few left. And PLEASE start using adblock plus this moment. It's easy and works. I would absolutely never use the internet without it. I was appalled by the ads I saw on blogs when I read them on my phone until I found an adblocker for it, too. Ugh! Try it!! I will so miss your posts, but I will so enjoy thinking about you living your life doing all you love. Take care, Nancy!

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    1. Thanks for the adblock tip, Laurel. I've downloaded and already notice a difference. Cheers.

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  5. Hello Nancy! Being away from blogging has its ups and downs with me. I miss the people, but to reminisce about those days when I discovered my love for writing in a new way, and the company of like-minded people, I smile for having had that experience, but by far, living each day out as God intended, in the company of the immediate, nothing can substitute that. WHAT A GLORIOUS PHOTO of that barn!

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  6. What a heartfelt post that is very inspiring to me. Time is valuable especially the older we get.

    Enjoy your simpler life, in your joy filled cottage.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

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  7. You will be missed and we will all be happy when you are able to post. Just reading blogs takes up more time than I'd like and I know I would never be able to to actually write one and keep it going. I'm glad your month away gave you clarity about how to simplify and bring more joy to the joyful cottage. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

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    1. Barbara, thank you for your kind comments. I do so want a simpler life. I won't go away completely, though. From time to time I will blog. :)

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  8. Thank you for all your posts.
    What I have found over the years is the blogs that I have followed for years have stopped blogging and just do a facebook post whenever they feel the need to share.
    I love it !!!
    Blogging is hard work !!!

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    1. I do have an A Joyful Cottage facebook page and do post there frequently.

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  9. Nancy, as a girl (in my mind) who packed up with her husband and moved to a small 960 sq. ft. house to make life simpler I sure understand where you are coming from. We put in a little plot of cutting flowers and added pepper and tomato plants right amongst them and called it a day. I get the pretty flowers and we get our two favorite veggies. I have so enjoyed your Living Large In Small Places and have gotten some great ideas from them. They gave me a good foundation to live with less and not feel overburdened. Thank you for that. But more than anything I have enjoyed your craft creations, your projects around the house and finding out how you and your husband are and the joy you bring in this crazy world. I wish we were neighbors. Not that you need it but you have my blessing and support in your decision. I will continue to follow you and will look forward to your updates from time to time. Thank you so much.

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    1. What sweet words you left here, Betty. Thank you so much. I'm glad you found encouragement through my Living Large In Small Spaces series. That's the main reason I wrote it. Being your neighbor would be lovely! :)

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  10. Nancy, I hear you! Blogging does take a lot of time and effort — and you do it so well! But Life requires investment too; in relationships, spiritual growth, rest. I suspect you've wrestled with these decisions, and I'm glad you've found a path forward. Enjoy!

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  11. I will miss your weekly post but I understand. For five years Jim and I planned my early retirement and living simply, travel and lots of outdoor experiences were a big part of it. Sadly he died before we realized are dream. I started my two online shops as a way to sell my hobby results of quilting but after Jim died I had to use it for income since his illness took all our savings. Your post reminded me that God called me to a simpler more God focused life and instead it has become more internet focused. So today I will spend some time focused on God and how to stay on the path he has called me to follow. Blessings and hugs to you my friend.

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  12. Well said Nancy and I think your words mirror a lot of what some of us feel. I am with you on your thoughts here. I started my blog 6 years ago to see if anyone out there liked my style. I found that in this time I not only found others that shared my style but also made some wonderful friendships. That is what draws me back to the blog. I like those connections I have made. I have thought a few times especially with all the crazy in my life of late to let my blog go. I do not advertise or make money with mine. I feel that would just burden me more with work to make very little money. I just want my blog to be about sharing and connections. My thought with my blog is to just post when I have something to share and visit blogs when I have the time. I too feel that if someone takes time to stop by and leave a sweet message it is only right to take a few minutes to send a message back to thank them. Old fashion maybe but I feel it is the right thing to do too. This makes blogging a full time job some days. So I agree with what you are saying. I guess we all have to find that balance between our blogs and what is going on in our lives. A good life is about balance and feeling good in your soul. Loved reading this heart felt post today Nancy.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  13. I so enjoyed your post today..Love, the painting of the Red Barn..Dennis does such awesome work. I could look at it for hours. Also, your friend in the hospital is sure to feel 100% better when she receives your fabric collage. I love that kind of collage, and bet she will be so happy and surprised.
    I have been reading your blog for some time, and always look forward to it. But as you said, time goes by so fast, (I just turned 78) and you have to use the time to enjoy all the little things in life, while you are able. I myself read blogs, but don't have the time or patience to have one of my own. I am learning to play the piano"again" even tho I am self taught, I am having a lot of fun with it..Wish I had not waited so long...Gotta do what you gotta do, when you can do it..just what you have decided. Enjoy your time off from blogging, I will see you again, when you are ready to say Hi.. Good Luck and Hugs to you, Bonnie in WI

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    1. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for leaving such a nice comment. Time goes by so quickly, doesn't it? We all have to choose how we use our time. Learning to play the piano is a great decision. That was on my bucket list for a long time, and at the age of 40 I took lessons for the first time in my life. I played just for my own enjoyment for a couple of years and when I downsized (with my late husband) I sold my piano and never played again. Which is fine. It was something I wanted to do, and I did it. That was enough for me. Have fun!

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  14. Nancy, your post has mirrored my thoughts for the last year. I've thought and thought about what to do with my blog. It's a time eater that's for sure, and I don't even post that often, maybe once every two weeks, if that. I get you. I totally agree with you. So glad to see your reflections for the past month when you had more time to enjoy friends and seeing new sights, etc. I've never been on a regular posting regimen so that has helped. I try to post only when I have some news or something to share. Funny thing is, none of my family read it! I do Facebook posts for keeping up with my sisters, but I even get tired of double posting, once on my blog and then again on Facebook! Internet takes too much time... I agree and I've been thinking on how I can cut alot of it out. Hubby and I also often talk about just not having internet at all. Seems like I can spend an entire afternoon on the computer and then I've lost out on maybe making some new friends, because I haven't gone to the quilt group or to the library for a class, etc. Instead, I'm sitting at my computer! I do love the connections I've made through my blog, but some that I made, just disappeared, and I never knew what happened to them. Real friendships are not like that, or shouldn't be. I have so loved reading your past posts about building your new cottage, your place in Colorado and your decorating, etc. I do hope you post once in awhile as would love to hear from you now and then, as others here have said. But nothing is "expected".... I am mostly interested in my blog friend's life and what they are doing.. not about a regular post on someone else's house or apartment in New York, or a place over in Europe somewhere! I like more personal posts anyway..... so I am with you... do only what you WANT to do as far as your blog. I've also been thinking of how I can cut down on my "garden" and flowers as this last summer was way too much work. I didn't even go anywhere hardly as everything needed watering every day or twice a day, so gave up going a few places because of it. I may cut way down as I'm the one who does most of the work and hubby doesn't care that much anyway. Alot of our flowers were in our backyard for only us/me to enjoy, so I think I may just have a few pots out front. Not sure yet, but was way too time intensive and physical work for me, as I AM 70 now and the hard physical work takes its toll. I closed my Etsy shop also as took way too much time for such a little amount of income. That was a relief but I still miss it as now have boxes of things I've made and not sure what to do with them! I'll either give more or donate more or something. I've tried a few craft fairs, etc. but way too much work and not really my thing. Take care friend and hope to see you here now and again! (and there is always personal email to keep in touch!) Hugs... Marilyn

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    1. Oh, yes, I can see we are thinking the same way Marilyn. It's taken time for me to get to this point, and I'm happy I've decided to cut back. I'll still blog, just not as often as I have. God bless you.

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  15. Hi Nancy, well, you have to go where your heart leads you and if blogging is becoming work, then remember that you are retired . . . you do not have to go to work :) I do hope that you blog now and then, because I will miss you. I have noticed that many of the blogs that I've followed for years and enjoyed are slowly fading away. If your blog is stealing your joy, let it go!
    I do hope you stay in touch . . . even if it's just a quick "Hell-o I'm Doing Fine & Still Alive & Kicking" comment.
    Love,
    Connie :)
    P.S. I agree that too many blogs are going commercial . . . I like the small personal touch . . . a gathering of friends :)

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  16. First your pictures are just lovely and I enjoyed the waterfall ones as well. It is good you are slowing down and taking time for those things that are important to you. Blogging will always be here when you are ready and it's true it can be a lot of work. I feel the same if someone takes the time to visit me and comment I always try to respond and visit them back in some way. I've greatly enjoyed the blog friendships I've developed over the years. :-) Hope you still post occasionally and I wish you all the very best. Life is short and we must make the most of each and every day.

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  17. I think many of us who blog are wrestling with these kinds of things. The world is a dark place and it needs the light. I'm happy you aren't going away completely!

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    1. Oh, no, I'll still be here Deanna. I've made too many great friends to go away completely.

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  18. Well your blogging will simply follow your life style right? Simple!! I have enjoyed all your posts and will continue to enjoy your "down size" (sorry, just couldn't resist). I like your version of Psalm 23. Which version is it? Thank you and God Bless our simple lives.

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    1. Simplicity is something I long for, yet which seems hard to achieve. I'm trying to make better choices to make it a reality in my life. I'm glad you liked this version of Psalm 23. It's from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

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  19. Yes, time away from the computer is so special and precious. Something we forget when we get too wrapped up in the blog scheduling, sharing, social media nightmare we create for ourselves. So happy for you finding the perfect balance :)

    xox

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  20. I have sure enjoyed your postings, Nancy. We are close in age and life is too short to spend it on the computer as much as you have had to for your blog. Enjoy your life and if you feel like it, let us know how you are doing.

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    1. I do think all the sitting at the computer blogging has taken a toll on my body. Sitting for long periods of time is not good. It was so nice of you to take the time to comment. Thank you for this. I will be back to post from time to time. Hope to hear from you again.

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  21. First, the new rugs are wonderful. Second, I love the Small Living and will miss it so much but frankly I can only imagine how much work it was. Third, I know what you mean about the need to simplify. I find that thought occuring over and over in my life. I get it and I support your decision.

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  22. i'm thinking that simplifying one's life is becoming more common among my friends.. with me included in the total. a month has gone by w/o a new blog post on my little online cottage of sorts .. i'm not sure where i want to go in future - with this blogging activity. i'm thinking through things.. and getting down to brass tacks: what does God want from me at this time? my days are FULL of late. FULL.

    in other news, your rugs are lovely, as is your husband's art. oh to have such gifts of creativity.. goodness! ♥

    following along .. i don't comment often, but i do visit. and think of you oh so often. thank you for sharing your heart in this matter. nodding in agreement.

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  23. Oh my Nancy . . .
    You write beautifully . . .
    Having stepped away from my own blog for a few weeks I
    am feeling an echo of your thoughts.

    I knew many months ago that I I couldn’t keep the pace
    that I had set when I first started Irish Garden House.
    As with you . . . for me it has never been just writing a post.
    It is also the photographs, organization, following, visiting, commenting
    with the friends I have met along the way.

    And then there is the LIFE that lives aside from the blogging life.
    So I understand . . . I really do . . .
    I smiled at your mention of closing the four month online shop . . .
    Reminded me of the Art Consignment Store, TILLERS
    that I opened with three others the year after I retired.
    I stayed with it a year when I realized I enjoyed creating much more than selling.

    So . . . I am excited for you . . .
    Life is precious . . . sail away and enjoy . . .
    I will miss you yet celebrate you . . .
    Thank you for the Beauty and Grace you have shared . . .
    God Bless You . . .

    On I go with my own personal reflection . . .


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  24. I totally understand everything here and I feel the same way about a lot of the things you mentioned about other blogs, ads and visiting others. You have to go with your heart on this. I know you have been thinking of it for a while and it seems now is the time in light of all your very good reasons. I am kinda getting there too so I try not to put too much pressure on myself by posting a lot. I post when I want and if I have something worthy to write about. You have so much beauty around you and things to enjoy that you have to take it all in now. I will miss not seeing your blog pop up in my email but I know you are off enjoying yourself and that is good. xoxo

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  25. I enjoyed this from the heart post. I agree. I have had a lot going on as of late. The boys are growing up fast. We have college prep for Sam, Driver's Ed for Atticus. Well you know, it is busy. Yet, I do not want to be so busy that I do not show the boys Simple Real Life is what matters. Not hours on the computer or phone.

    I thank you so much for this post. I enjoyed your photos and Congratulations to your husband. WOW!!!
    Palouse Falls is beautiful!
    Love, Carla

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  26. As you can tell Nancy, you are not alone in your thoughts. A line from Bonnie Raitts song Knick of Time, 'life becomes precious when there's less of it to waste' comes to mind. We have to be stewards of our time and how best to use it. As bloggers we have put in sooooooo much time into our blogs that it can be a difficult decision to let it go, to let all those posts that we've poured our heart and souls into disappear into cyber space, but once it's a burden, once it's no longer something we look forward to, we have to follow our hearts. I think that's why so many bloggers step back a little at a time, going from posting daily to weekly to every other week to once a month, then not at all.

    To everything there is a season...

    xxx

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  27. I loved seeing your adventures since you've been away from your blog - and I loved hearing your heart and thoughts for the future of your posts. I'm right there with you, dear friend. Your blog brought us together and I know how to reach you and keep in touch! One of these days we will head your way and have a real, sit-down, face-to-face chat. Or, perhaps a long walk while we chat. In the meantime I will look forward to whatever you share, whenever you share it. My heart longs for a much simpler life. Many of us are moving that direction, too.
    ~Adrienne~

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  28. I am with you 100% about blogging and that is why I have been only posting whenever I can. I am not selling anything and only blog for fun and to create friendship. I too feel that I need to visit everyone who came over and bothered to leave a comment and not to do that is the same as getting a compliment and not saying "thank you." Your hutch is beautiful. We have a hutch but I am totally without talent to renovate it. Wishing you the best Nancy!! Happy Autumn!!

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  29. I also have given up on blogs with too much advertising. I have very much enjoyed reading your blog and will check in now and then to see what is up. It is better for all of us to limit our time on line, and enjoy and cherish the many special moments of our lives, as you so wonderfully pointed out.

    As to simplifying the garden....I keep wondering what was I thinking 20 years ago when I planted my gardens - I certainly was not thinking of my older self.

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  30. I'm right there with you, my dear friend. I've been blogging on and off for over 10 years and I know what you mean about change. I also know what you mean about ads and such. Blogging used to be so personal and sometimes it still is. Friends like you keep it that way. I understand why you're cutting back, but I'm glad you're still sticking around. I probably won't give up my blog either, but the time I spent on it in the past is just too much these days. I also understand the commenting back... I have to! Not because anyone makes me feel that way, I just think it's polite and I love visiting my friends, but it can get overwhelming sometimes and I need more time away from the computer, just like you :)

    love to you,
    rue

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  31. I'm strictly a blog reader and do enjoy yours! But I get it -- simple is better. I will check back periodically and happily read when you post. As far as gardening, over the past 3-4 years I have been downsizing my large front yard perennial garden and gradually more "goes to grass". Much easier to hand mow then weed. Take care.

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    1. There are so many great blogs out there, and I'm sure if I stopped blogging altogether I would still read my favorite ones. However, I haven't given up completely and will post from time to time. There's a woman in our town who bought a home here that had beautiful perennial beds. She tore them all out and converted everything to grass. She just didn't want to have to take care of them. People say perennial beds are low maintenance, but it all depends on what kind of perennials you plant. Some perennial require a lot of deadheading, and I find that can be very time consuming. Still thinking this one through! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  32. I've been so busy the past couple of weeks Nancy, I'm sorry I am just now getting by to read this beautiful heartfelt post! First of all, I loved your pictures and the sound of the waterfall, oh it must have been just lovely to relax, get away and enjoy the time with your husband! Congratulations to him on winning second place, I just think his should be first all the way! I treasure both the collage you made and his painting, I look at them often and think of you both! And the online shopping world is a maze to wander through.

    Of course, the big topic you shared about is something I so completely understand. I'm glad you are relieving yourself of the burden of having to post on a deadline. I think that somehow steals the joy of spontaneity, of being able to post when you are able to. I think just letting go of the schedule will allow you to post from your heart, which are the posts I love the most anyway. My favorite blogs are just sweet ladies around the world sharing their lives, their ups, downs, joys, sorrows, and creative moments. I draw strength, knowledge, wisdom, joy from them, and it is the friendships that I've made in blogging that constrain me to continue. I cherish deeply the friendships I've made with ladies I will probably never meet this side of heaven. And I feel that way about you, dear friend. I ALWAYS love what you share, and find your posts inspiring, genuine, real, and for that reason, I'm so glad you will continue to blog, on your own time, and no one else's. Hugs to you and Dennis, may the dear Lord continue to bless you both in your artistic and creative adventures!

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  33. You've stated exactly what I've thought about a lot of blogs I used to read all the time--they have become money makers. If that's what the writers want, that's fine, but I also value my time and moneymaking via blogging isn't how I want to write or read.
    Congrats to your hubby on his 2nd place award. One thing I am interested in is learning a bit about water color. I have family and friends who are artists and I learn from them :)
    I will continue to check in on your blog and will miss your posts, but I completely understand your decision.
    God bless you!

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I have to find balance in my life. So glad you understand. xo

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  34. Oh, darling Nancy, now I don't feel so guilty! I'm with you heart and soul on this. I have a few years on you and have felt so much God's leading on redeeming the time left me. I won't post at the Window until I've been a good blog friend and visit everyone and so after the past couple of weeks when I was called to other things, I will have to begin catching up with everyone before posting again there. Added to my diminishing online time is the fact that my best hope in helping my insomnia is not to be online at all after 7 p.m. and turning my phone off by 8. That device lighting really does affect it. But that means that my online time has to come during my busy day with limited time.

    Recently I commented on another blogger's post where she expressed similar thoughts to yours that my wish would be that there would be voluntary but understood "comment free" times when you were free to post as much as you wanted and visit as much as you wanted but would turn off comments on your own blog during that period and not comment on others then. I suggested that the month of December would be the perfect time for this. She told me that we would probably be the only 2 to go along with this, but I have an idea now that you would too!

    I've found that when I'm on a blog break it doesn't even cross my mind during my day whether my activities need to be photographed for my blog. My mind is free to just live the moment. I won't give up my blog either but we do have to sometimes examine the cost of time it takes. What do I give up if I blog regularly and responsibly?

    Thank you for the wisdom and courage in this post. And I love your husband's Red Barn! And that you have felt freedom to go with him and explore while he paints, and all the other moments you have taken to fill your own well to the brim.

    A blessed and observant rest of October to you,
    Dewena

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  35. Hello Nancy, this is a lovely blog, straight from the heart, I echo all of what you have said. Earlier this year I just lost interest in blogging, I wanted to do other things instead. One of those other things is quilting, something I have wanted to do for over 40 years!! I’ve started very basic but would like to see where it takes me. And the age thing, I’m nearing 70 too, I run out of energy very quickly! I like to follow a lot of blogs, but I don’t have the patience for the ones with ads in them. Your photographs are stunning, there are so many beautiful places to explore and enjoy. Congratulations to your husband, his art is very good. Enjoy your life Nancy, I have submitted my email address so I will pop over now and again. All the best, Polly

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  36. I so appreciate your comments. My husband and I are in our 70's and have recently downsized to a small cottage. Trying to fit what was in a 3 bedroom-2 bath with a garage into a 2 bed-1 bath no garage. We still have a 10x20 rented storage unit to go through! But "simple" is what we are after. And time to enjoy each other and experience more of God's world. Again, thank you.

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  37. I've been on a journey to simplify life for a while now but it hasn't really happened yet. I'm too attached to my bad habits. Social media, for one, does take a lot of time. I don't like facebook but I've been posting on instagram for a while now. I'm not sure it is for me, I like words as much as I like the photos and blogging is a better platform for that. But it does take time. I don't reply to every comment but I do return every visit and have met some wonderful people along the way, yourself included. I have been posting less in the past few months when I was very busy but winter is usually a quieter time and I have some new ideas so, really, I'm still excited about blogging. I hope that whatever you decide we won't lose touch completely.
    Amalia
    xo

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  38. I did what you did- took a blog break!
    Mine was computer break...it actually broke.
    Right now it’s limping along.
    But the feeling of freedom was delicious!

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  39. Lots of wonderful shares here. I love the red barn painting. Congrats to your hubby!I would love to have artistic talent but alas I have none. I do love seeing the artwork of others. It seems as if a lot of people took blog breaks but I found too much negativity at social media so I am going to try to blog more often. Missing everyone here. Have a great weekend.

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  40. Hi sweet lady-
    I really like this post and agree with you, both about blogging and simplifying your life. Over the years, IMO- so many blogs seem to have gone down hill. Many posts from (my) once loved blog list seem to have faded in light of pop ups and other irritating ads. I see so many blogs that have changed as posts after posts are pumped out daily or weekly that seem to be watered down versions of the current Pinterest or Instagram trends. All of a sudden tons of bloggers have announced new trending self proclaimed titles calling themselves "stylists". It is interesting to see if you have the time to sift thru blogs and click on lots of X's to get the ads out of your way. Sigh. Like you, I hate wading thru 14 ads before learning about what brand of toilet paper a blogger is showcasing in their home that day. And many blogs now remind me of walking thru Wally World. Christmas is showcased on blog pages in Sept. Valentines decor pops up the day after New years and well it just seems many blogs are on steroids.

    I don't want to be a blog buzz kill here. I still look at some and enjoy many of them. I rarely post on my own neglected blog. I really can appreciate that talented bloggers are able to create ways to earn a nice income from their hard work in the blogging world. That is just not how (we) roll, and that is a okay. I especially like the bloggers who keep it real and share from the heart. That would be you, the gal at Joyful cottage. Your heart shines through your words and its always a pleasure to visit here.

    Like you, I am striving to simplify my life and I fully support you in doing the same. March to your own drummer. Blog when ever you fell like it and most of all, dance like no one is watching. Life goes by fast and it is never to late to have a happy childhood and to just play and skip out on your homework or your blogging work. Go play.. have fun and hold no guilt for not blogging. I will continue to check in on you and in the meantime I hope you and your sweetie are totally blessed.

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    1. Tonita, thank you for sharing your thought, and for your encouragement. I know we are kindred spirits. I enjoy your blog, as well. And will continue to check in from time to time to see if you have an update. I love to see what you're up to. Hugs.

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  41. Just popping in to say hi Nancy! Was thinking of you this Sunday and hope things are going well! My blog gets posted on maybe once a month, but mostly when I feel inspired to share something. Just wanted to say hello. hugs.....Marilyn

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