Blog Anniversary and Something New

Saturday I noticed an icon that I didn’t recognize when checking the blog, I clicked to find the announcement of my two-year anniversary of blogging here on Living Simply Free.  A lot has happened since I hit the publish button that first time both in my blogging and in my life.

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In blogging that first post was hard to write. I had so many ideas but knew I couldn’t share everything at once.  I didn’t know how to put links in a post or even a photo. My first attempts to add photos to the blog were free images as I had no idea how to upload a picture from my phone at the time.  Now doing both is a breeze or I never would be able to produce the Friday Faves posts each week.Since that first day, I’ve also learned how to blog from a cell phone. It wasn’t exactly hard, but it took way more time to accomplish the same tasks which I had previously taken for granted with a computer.

Then there is my life. I hardly know where to start.  I finally had to give up my dream of always being able to walk and resort to using a wheel chair.  The result, rather than feeling depressed and lost with the inability to walk I found new passions.  A community garden, and my love of decorating became a quest to save furniture. It is much easier to work on a piece of furniture than to tackle an entire room or house with my limitations and has given me a creative outlet and a mission in life.

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I have gotten to know so many wonderful people as a result of blogging, people I would never have had the pleasure of corresponding to had I not found this community.  You kept me sane when things got rough in the real world, you accepted my lifestyle without judgement, even the part where I decided to live without a fridge and pointed me in the direction on the facts concerning which foods could be safely stored without refrigeration.

You have encouraged my furniture restoration and suggested I do more, for which I am grateful.  As a result I opened up to those in the community about my mission which in turn brought me more items to restore and the offer of office space to sell my items from.

As I reflect on my life I see just how full it is and how fortunate I am, instead of seeing only my limitations.

And I owe it all to you for reading, inspiring me and coaxing me on in my growth and realization that I wanted a life that would make a difference in some small way.  I wouldn’t have continued to blog if it weren’t for you.

So today I want to thank each and every one of you. I could never list you all by name but if you are here reading this you know I am talking to you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

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I mentioned something new.  I have wondered for a time now if the blog has lost its direction.  It seems all over the place, (and yet you keep coming back) I pondered if I wanted to make a change here and decided I liked where I ended up. I am a complex person with diverse interests and this is the perfect place to share them.

But I also wanted to create something my grandchildren could one day use as well.  I wanted to leave behind a legacy of all the information I have learned about living as lightly as I can on Mother Earth. A place they could reference to find natural remedies and chemical-free lives.  So why not share it with the world as well.  I have just this week created another blog that will focus solely on these issues.  You can check it out here.  There isn’t much there yet, I’ve copied a couple of posts from my early days blogging and written a couple of new pieces. I’ll be updating that blog as often as I can.

As for this blog, what would you like to see more of?  What aren’t you interested in?

 

 

71 Comments

  1. I’m obviously late in offering my congrats on your blogoversary but here it is. We are all – all over the map. We are all very multifaceted humans with diverse interests. I’m interested in many of the things you write about but not others. I still get something wonderful from each post I get to read. I like who you are as a person, the fact that you care about the world and others is huge. We may go about our paths differently, but we get to share our experiences and hope with each other. Which direction you take is irrelevant. I’ll keep reading. Even if I have to catch up from 3 weeks of being a bit off. We have learned a lot in the last 2 years, haven’t we?

  2. Congratulations on your blogoversary! :-) Congratulations, as well, on your new blog … I love it and I’ve signed up for your email updates … and thanks, for including Reduce Footprints in your blog roll. :-) When I first started blogging, I was afraid. My husband told me to be prepared for nasty remarks, people who might be mean-spirited and “scam artists”. I was very careful in those early days to keep my identity … even my gender … totally secret. But what I found was a comfortable place to “talk” with lovely, caring people. It’s been a marvelous experience. I’m so glad that you have it to be a worthwhile adventure, as well .. you have so many wonderful things to share with us. I’m looking forward to another year on both this blog and your new one!

    • Thank you, Small Footprints, for checking out the new blog. I too had a lot of people tell me to protect my identity and where I lived. But like you I haven’t met any mean spirited people and have lightened up in stages. First I added a picture, then slowly used my name etc.

      I’m looking forward to another year of time with my online friends! :-)

  3. Congratulations on two years of blogging Lois, the amount of posts you put out are amazing. Personally I like the variety of topics you post on as I’m never sure what I’m going to read or see, but I always know it will be of interest. Your life is revealed on this blog and it is varied and rich, imagine how boring it would be if it was always the same. I enjoy your changing seasons, opposite to mine, your many projects and interesting or funny things you find to share.

    • Jen I am thrilled you enjoy my blog and the variety I end up posting here. I love changing seasons but I think it would be fun to be a snow bird, which is what we call those who go south every winter to avoid the cold. I’ve found since blogging I very enjoy my summers knowing others are in winter at that time and in the winter I absorb plans for the gardens from all of you who are having summer. Works out nicely. :-)

  4. Hi Lois! Congratulations on 2 years! Those of us who have been blogging a while know EXACTLY how much commitment it takes and your deserve to be proud! What I admire is that you do so many posts each and every week! I manage to get out one a week (not counting Thom’s photos) and that sometimes is a challenge! As far as your focus…I think you have the perfect title for it. Livingsimplyfree is such a positive open-ended title that you can take it anywhere your heart and soul requires–so no worries there. So congratulations again and from my perspective…the internet (and the world) are better because you are in it! ~Kathy

    • Kathy, I’m blushing right now from your lovely comments, thank you. I think the reason I am able to blog as often is partly because I do have something to say, but also because I choose to live alone. When the day is over and I need to relax and get my feet up I tend to reflect and luckily I have no one asking me to turn things off, so that is when I do my writing. :-)

      The blog name came about from many different angles, of course there is the simplicity of downsizing, but Free came because I had to live through much when I was younger and carried the demons with me for a long time. Mentally, financially and yes even physically I feel free and knew I wanted that one word in the title.

  5. Congratulations on your second anniversary. Yours is such an informative post and your beliefs are very much in line with mine. When we find our purpose/passions in life, our limitations do not define us. You are a prime example of how to live a life. :)

  6. I’m new to your blog and so far, I really enjoy what I read! Happy Blogiversary! I’m only officially on my third month so I am looking forward to my first anniversary!

    I enjoy that it is “all over the place” as that is how I am as well. I like to go with the flow (though I was told it would be best if I focused more…. whatever!)

  7. Wow…two years…that’s wonderful :)

    To be honest, I felt the same way about my Simple blog until I realized that the blog is an extension of my thoughts and as such, will be disjointed and confusing and possibly even contradictory at times, but hey, that’s how I think in my offline world and that’s what you get when I’m online!

    “I need to forget everything I read and just do what comes naturally to me.” – EXACTLY!! We have to care for YOU and not any specific post or niche or tip. Living Simply Free is what you do and what we aspire to do because of you. And for that, I thank you for being here and look forward to another two years of you!

    Take care Lois and my best to all.

    Lyle

  8. I love your blog and have never thought it was all over the place – it is all about you and your life and your ideas and your thoughts and your inspiration – and that is one topic! I find your posts really inspiring and I agree with the comment above that your soul shines through with each post you write. Whatever you choose to write about, I will want to read about : )

  9. Congratulations on the two year mark! You are a real blog survivor because most blogs fizzle out and get abandoned quickly, or become sporadic. I am sure you can guess that I like a variety of topics. I can’t always get through the Wednesday and Friday round-ups due to time constraints but don’t stop posting them! I would also be interested in your experience of adapting to using a wheelchair, and other lifestyle and accessibility issues. PS – I agree with Lynn above – I hope you do back up your website! I type my posts in a Word document and save it, then I copy it into WordPress and add the photos and links.

    • Dar, thank you. Yes, I do enjoy the variety of your posts, although I have taken on a bit too much work right now and haven’t been able to comment as much. I just published a long winded post about my disability and how I manage to live as independently as possible.

      I have not backed up anything to this point. I think I have 550+ posts to now go back and save. I guess I won’t mind winter arriving this year as much as I have a lot of work to do.

  10. Congratulations on two years of blogging! I often wonder that I go off track on my blog too but we are all multi-faceted and I guess if we can’t express that on our own blog where can we? But then I think people that sign up for a particular theme of a blog are not necessarily going to appreciate my ramblings on all sorts. I love reading about the lives of the people who blog, WHO they are so it never worries me and I very much enjoy yours.
    Another blog is a good idea though, I have a couple of others – one on depression and another I just started but am unsure of the direction I want to take with it just yet. Your other sounds right up my alley so I’ll check it out.This reminds me of a conversation I had with my granddaughter when she was 4. She was coming to stay and is a talker, non stop, and her Mum had warned her about talking “Nana’s ear off”. She talked the whole 25 minutes drive home and when we arrived I said “Goodness Caitlin, I do believe you talked the whole way here!” she replied very seriously and with much thought “Well, it’s just you see Nana, I have such alot I want to say!” I guess we are like that :) :) and why not!!
    You do incredibly well, I love your spirit Lois, that always shines through. I knew of course that you are in a wheel chair but do not know why, would you share this?

    • Wendy, I would adore your granddaughter. My oldest son was always like that, still is. Unfortunately it was hard to get a word in when he got started. I remember when he was in elementary school I was trying so hard to do everything right and show my boys that what they had to say was important. He was rambling away, I had finished the dishes and needed to switch the laundry, but I couldn’t find a way to tell him I needed to step out of the room. Finally, I gave up and walked down the hall to finish the chore. I had removed everything from the dryer and was reloading it with the clothes from the washer. In all this time, he kept on talking, not even aware I wasn’t there. Then all of a sudden he realizes I’ve left the room and announced that if I didn’t want to hear what he had to say why was he talking. I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing. Of course after composing myself I proceeded to explain I loved him and liked hearing his thoughts, but he needed to let someone else get in a word or two. :-)

      Thanks for supporting any direction I end up going from day to day. You are not the only one who has asked me to write about my disability and how it affects me. I will write something soon, but for now to answer your question, I was born with Muscular Dystrophy. I was very fortunate to have a mild case of it and only lost the ability to walk unassisted in the last few years, in the last year I lost much more ability. I guess because I always knew this was a possibility while I fought it as long as I could I had prepared my life and where I lived so when I did have to resign myself to this I would still be able to continue living on my own.

      • Aw, that’s a cute story lol. My granddaughter is very much like my son in that respect, he was also a great talker…every elderly person in our neighbourhood knew my “friendly little man”. He lost alot of that as he aged though :)

        Ah, thank you for that. I had guessed that or maybe I did see it early on and not quite registered? I have known several others with this and know it’s challenges, you do wonderfully but I can imagine it well has it’s frustrations and limitations as illness and disability does. I have odd periods of great resentment about my own and that is nowhere near as disabling, acceptance is sometimes a difficult thing I have yet to master!!

        • My son never grew out of his propensity to talk your ear off, but at least now he’s using it to write :-)

          My ex suffers from severe depression and also schizophrenia. I look at him and know I would rather have any physical limitation than having my mind robbed from me.

          Depression is so misunderstood. People think you can just shake it off and be happy but it doesn’t work that way as you know. I am in awe of you for battling it and doing so well.

          • It’s a crippling thing and no, it doesn’t work just thinking positively. Schizophrenia is something I well understand and I now work with many sufferers. It can be hell on earth and yes, I would rather have physical problems than that too. A good thing is that the old model of working with it is slowly being replaced (though not in our hospital based psychiatry depts!) by other means of treating an acute breakdown of identity, there is so much out there now but it takes years and years of self work to organise one’s self again and to sort faulty thought patterns. A hard road for sure and very difficult for family to support.

    • Happy birthday, Joy. What a great month to have a birthday in. My birthday is next month, 3 days after Christmas. I hated it when I was a child, but now am glad to get all the celebration over with as I don’t much care for celebrating my birthdays. :-)

      Thank you for leaving a reply today, it’s good to meet those who read. Your comment about seeing a lot, has me wishing I could pick your brain. :-)

  11. I imagine that It changes from time to time, but I’ve been curious about when and how you use your chair, because if you didn’t mention it, no one would know that you have one. I think it could provide a good example of finding alternative ways of doing things just as much as living with no refrigerator does.

    • Live and Learn, I hadn’t thought to write about life with a wheelchair. Growing up with Muscular Dystrophy and being around others who had it as well, I forget that not everyone knows what it is like as it was always something we knew and had to prepare for. Look for a post in the next week on that subject as I think it is a great idea and would be informative for others who have never considered the challenges it brings in daily life.

  12. Happy bloggiversary, Lois! :-)

    My third year of blogging has definitely been the most interesting.

    I wouldn’t worry about being all over the place. I think people run out of things to say, when they try to focus on one topic. Or it becomes redundant. I’ve enjoyed watching your focus evolve–starting with upcycling and dumpster-diving finds, and moving on to more world/social issues.

    Keep it up! As someone told me once, just go wherever the muse takes you!

  13. Congratulations, Lois, on 2 years blogging. It’s amazing to look back and see all of what we’ve accomplished and how our life has changed. It looks like you’ve gone through many changes and through it all life has turned out good.

    I’m happy for your many successes and milestones and I’m glad to have you as an internet friend. :-)

  14. I’m not that interested in the gardening posts, mainly as I don’t have a garden (though I really wish I did). I have been likely the themed round ups you’ve been doing, complete with lots of lovely photographs, they’ve been great!

    I can’t believe you’re spinning off to a new blog – you certainly will be busy!

    • Sarah, I can’t believe I decided to take on another blog as I also took on more work this month with editing my son’s newest novel and then will have to format and publish it when it’s done.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the themed posts, sorry about the gardening, I think I went a bit overboard this summer as I was excited about expanding the beds and trying new things. I’ll try to keep it mixed up some next summer so as not to bore you to death. :-)

      • I don’t comment much however do read all your posts. You are an inspiration and it is a pleasure to have snapshots into your life. One thing you never are is boring and your garden is a journey through the seasons. Living in Australia we are not as subjected to the extremes so I love to see the snow. I have learned lots and your sharing of other peoples ideas creates a real community feel. Don’t stop posting and I look forward to your new venture.
        Fitzie

        • Mary, it is always good to hear from you. I don’t expect any one to comment all the time but love hearing from you.

          We have a saying here in this part of Pennsylvania: if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes it will change. Yesterday was no exception. I knew it was going to get really cold today so I headed out to pick up some cleaning supplies, (more vinegar) It was cold, but not uncomfortable. On the way back the wind picked up and it began to rain lightly. Within a couple of hours we had 3 inches of snow covering everything.

          I will be posting for a long time, I would so miss the community of people, like you, I have gotten to talk to if I did.

        • I do understand that, :-) I’ve been wondering and will need to ask if you and the other readers want less posts, I don’t want to push readers away because of too many updates.

          It was good to know that not all my readers are interested in the gardening posts. That was one of the things I was looking at now that I’m not so busy. There were days I was too tired to do much more than post about the garden. I felt my blogging was suffering this summer in quality as a result.

      • Had a look at the new blog, looks interesting. and, i am sure that your grandchildren/children will savor it….that being said, i believe they will savor this one, just as much. In a way, this one, will give them a genuine “feel” of what you have progressed through/how you have evolved. all good.

        congratulations on two years…

        i have enjoyed reading your work, and appreciate the opportunity to visit.

        one thing i appreciate about the internet, is, in its way, it is a great way of “freeing up”…I don’t have to worry about how i look/don’t look. i don’t have to worry if someone will think i do things well or not, i can just “visit”….and sometimes i do find a very nice place to “visit”. (thanks).

        • Yes, Lynn. I believe they will enjoy this blog for the history that is here of their youth. I won’t be sharing stories of my family on the other blog so it will have a different feel to it.

          The post that gets the most traffic on this blog is one I wrote on how to heal warts naturally. The comments I received tell a story of doctor intervention that doesn’t reach the root of the problem which means the warts continue to return time and time again. The cure I shared is one from past generations that was handed down, but was being forgotten with modern medicine. I wanted to leave something that would reverse that trend and save the history for all to have access to.

          Oh, how true you are about not having to worry about how we look when we are online. I often blog or answer comments in my pajamas :-)

          • I hope you back it up / both sites/ very soon, as well as possibly any important posts elsewhere , like facebook or pinetrest

            i had a younger relative, a stay at home dad, and the mom worked and traveled much.

            his blog was from when they got married more or less, and on. it was to keep a record of “Junior”, and keep mom up to date as she travelled on things…

            it was a very nice for extended family (me) too.

            one day it was GONE. and sadly he did not have any hard copies(paper) and no

            back up. he was heartbroken\

            i don’t mean to “scare” you, but the wek before, it had gone throughmy mind, maybe i should just copy th pages and surprise him… (did not know he had nothing)
            well, i didnt copy.

            just saying, maybe i had “feeling”

          • How horrible! Another blogger shard that her family printed out her blog each year and gave it to her as a Christmas present. I’m thinking about doing something similar and having hard copies that the grandchildren can read later, especially this one that has so many pictures and the stories that went with them of their growing up.

          • Lois
            i think that would be a wonderful christmas or other gift, printing out the hard copy/with pics

            and now , there is a new baby on way, and life will be documented even fr before birth

            even though your grandchildren are fairly young, i bet they would love it at this age

            just imagine, their “own” personal copy, updated yearly…bet it would be one of the first gifst opened.

          • Lynn, I think they would love to look through it. They are so funny in what they remember. My granddaughter keeps talking about a meal out when she was 2. It was a Japanese restaurant where they cooked the food in front of you. She loved the flames that shot up at one point but her brother freaked, screaming and crying. He doesn’t remember this, but she does. I’d hate for her to forget saving the turtle this summer or her first painting job which was the broken down rocking chair I found.

            I guess I never thought about backing things up because you always here that once it’s out there you can never remove it.

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