Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Last Day of January

Hi everyone!  I can't believe it's been three weeks since I posted here.  I had to take a little break because we've had a lot going on at the homestead.  ;)  In addition to not posting, I haven't been able to visit much, either, but I haven't forgotten about you all.  So, how have you been?  I've been doing well, except for having tooth problems.  I forgot just how painful a toothache can be, but I've been reminded the past few weeks.  It made me realize (again) how hard it must have been to live in the middle ages when dentistry was practically non-existent.  I guess the barber did tooth work, as well.

Anywho, I always had good teeth when I was young, but years of grinding them in my sleep during middle age has finally caused much cracking and having to get crowns -- not the pretty kind you wear on your head either.  Well, enough of that.  Today is my dear mom's birthday, but I won't be able to visit her until Friday.  I'm so lucky to still have my parents and Hal's parents, too.  My husband's grandmother will turn 100 years old the last week of February.  I don't know of anyone in my family who lived that long -- quite a milestone!

Also in the month of January, our Duncan turned three.  He's very sweet these days, but he's still a mischievous monkey.  ;)

It's hard to believe we've had him for three years already -- how time does fly!


My husband shared this picture with me a few weeks ago.  He found it online, and we both got a big kick out of it.  This definitely appears to be a Scottie, and based on his letter, he sounds just like Duncan (and MacDuff too).  This is why Scotties can only be allowed off their leash in an enclosed area.  We do love our little rascal, though.  ;)

Six years ago this month, I started "House at Forest Manor."  This was the first tablescape I did.  Writing this blog has been a true adventure for me; it's added so much to my life.  I discovered that I'm more creative than I knew, and I've learned about so many things, while sharing some of my experiences, too.  It's really scary pushing that "Post" button for the first time; thank you all for showing an interest in what I've had to say!  That means more than I can tell you.


When I was in middle school (we called it junior high back then) I signed up to get a pen pal.  My pen pal was from Germany, and her name was Steffi.  I wrote to her first, and it felt like it took forever for her to write back.  Every day I couldn't wait to check the mailbox when I got home from school -- such excitement when I received that first letter!  Do schools still have pen pal programs?  I hope so; it's a good way to meet new people and learn communication skills.  Since I began blogging, I feel like I have many new and wonderful pen pals.  I don't have any from Germany now, but I communicate with people all over the U.S., as well as Canada, the U.K., Ecuador, and France.  I would dearly love to meet you all in person, though I'm pretty sure that will never happen.

During my six years of blogging, some of my most-read posts were the first two posts I wrote about Jan Karon's "Mitford" -- in real life, Blowing Rock, North Carolina (Here and Here).

I shared how my husband makes bark butter for the birds in winter, and this one seems to stay continuously in the most popular posts.

The bark butter also attracts bluebirds to our feeders, which is one of the reasons we love to have it on hand.

Another consistently popular post is the reveal of our renovated kitchen from 2012.  You can find that post Here.  The above picture is from Christmas 2016.

In 2016, my two most-read posts were a pictorial of Biltmore spring gardens, titled "A (Mostly) Wordless Post," and

"A Different Kind of Post" which was, by contrast, very wordy.  ;)  I could definitely write a few wordy editorials at the moment, but I'm trying to refrain.  :>/

When I first began this journey in 2011, I had a lot more time to work on my blog.  These days, life has kept me very busy, and I've found that the longer you stay away from blogging, the harder it is to start back.  I plan to post (and visit) regularly in 2017, but who knows what this year will bring.  My husband has had more free time, and I've been running here and there with him.  Our parents are getting older, and I have a parent with serious health problems.  So I'll do the best I can, and we shall see.  We also have a new renovation project on the house coming up in the near future, and I'll share that with you, as well.

Do you have any big plans or goals for 2017?  I'd love to hear about them!  As always, thank you so much for your visit, and have a wonderful week!




  1. Congratulations on six years of blogging! I have no idea what my most viewed posts are...probably should check sometime. I remember well the Mitford posts and the recipe for the bird bark. I tried that when you posted it. Alas, I had mostly squirrel takers as the trees are very close here. And I remember when Duncan was a very energetic puppy. I am sorry about your dental pain. Hope that you are feeling much better soon. I am glad that you blog and I enjoy finding you here.

  2. Hello Denise, good to see your post. Happy Birthday to your dear mom!

  3. Yes sorry to hear about the dental pain. It was fun to read about your most popular posts. I remember them. Your kitchen looks so pretty. Congratulations on 6 years of blogging!

  4. SIx years of blogging! Congrats! It's amazing when you consider the time we put into our blogs isn't it Denise! However, what a beautiful way to document and revisit those wonderful memories! Duncan is beyond precious! Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life..please continue as often as you can! I love to visit!

  5. good to hear from you. so sorry about the dental issues, I've had them since taking new meds so I understand your pain..
    the weathers wide here isn't it. being only about 20 miles apart I'm sure we both get the same temps daily. I hope that one snow will be our only one, wasnt fun for those having to drive.
    wishing you and yours a happy, healthy 2017.

  6. That's too bad about the dental work and pain. Your pup is so cute. I haven't had a dog in a long time. Sounds like Scotties are light on their feet! I started in 2010 with my blogging. Times flies doesn't it! You had a big year last year with your new home being built so it's a wonder you could find time to post anything. Sorry one of your parents is having health issues. My mom is 94 and she's been blessed with pretty good health except her memory is going. I am thinking about spring and being outdoors planting things. It's my obsession!

  7. Hi Denise. Little Duncan (not so little now that he is a big boy of 3) but to me he will always be Little Duncan! You are so lucky to have your parents still with you and Happy Birthday to each of them. Sorry about your teeth aches, one good thing they can always be fixed, but not a pretty thing to go through. Have a wonderful week..Judy

  8. Congratulations on so many years of blogging! I know the pain of tooth pain - for similar reasons - so I hope that you are now all sorted - or will be sorted soon!



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