weekend notes






Hello there.  On Saturday I went to the annual Precious Times Antique store outdoor flea market. Even though I'm not in the market for anything for the house this is a pretty amazing sale so I didn't want to miss it.  This is where I got the two antique light pendants in my living room for $2.50 each, the wicker handbag I've been carrying all summer cost $5 and my antique English teapot was $1. The offerings on Saturday were so-so.  I wound up walking away with a beautiful long silk skirt for $3. I'll show you that in an upcoming post.  We also popped in to see Gone Girl.  I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie.  I thought it was very clever but the ending for me was a disappointment. Have you seen it?




Now here it is Sunday afternoon.  Football is on the television, Larry is on the sofa napping and I've been in the kitchen making ice cold gazpacho for dinner.  The days have been hot but at least the nights have been crisp.  It's our typical Fall weather here.  If I were to ever recommend the perfect time to visit southern California it would be in October or November.





I've done a lot of thinking this past week as to what to do with this blog.  It seemed like it was doomed or rather maybe I was?  Anyway, I received some very heartfelt emails and lots of comments about sharing your own stories and I came to realize that one of the reasons I've been able to keep my sanity these last 5 years or so, is because of this blog.  It has kept me anchored and really has been a reason for me to push past the negative and see all the good in my life.  And to be honest it feels good knowing I'm not alone or some kind of failure.  So it looks like I'll keep hanging around putting out the same mediocre posts that you have come to expect.  Don't these blue and white ginger jars and hydrangeas look good together?  These are the little things that keep me going.  That and of course, you dear readers who inspire me and keep me on my toes.



192 comments

  1. I've been reading for years. Your spirit shines through every post and I want to encourage you that whatever direction you take, it has not been for nothing. We all have so much "real life" stuff behind our blogs that is often uncomfortable to share, but it is important to (to a certain extent) because that is where true human connection happens! God bless you and thank you for putting yourself and your beautiful life out there to share with others. I love reading. Big virtual hug from FL.

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    1. hello florida! thank you for your kind comment. i think you are right about sharing the uncomfortable stuff on our blogs. at first i was regretful but after a day or 2 i began to feel lighter and lighter. i do think it is the human connection that did that. thank you for reading. x

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  2. I do hope you will blog whenever you feel like it! Just walked in from "Gone Girl." It was absolutely silent in the theater when the film ended. I think we were all a little stunned!

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    1. hi anon. the ending or i should say the last 1/3 of the movie really let me down but overall i'm glad i saw it. x

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  3. Awwww .... what a sweet post. Anonymous, you're so right, we all have 'stuff' behind our blogs and sometimes we just have to start fresh;that's what I did. Janet, hang in there. I'm glad you decided to keep The Gardener's Cottage going. You're stronger than I am. xo

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    1. hi sue and thank you for your sweet comment. i think it's a v personal decision whether we should keep our blogs going or not. i'm glad i took the break and came to this decision. i feel good about it. i hope you feel good about your decision too. x

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  4. So happy to see your post!! I have been following you for years and you are such an inspiration to me!

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    1. thank you glenna for your sweet comment, it's you readers that continually inspire me....x

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  5. Please keep writing! I enjoy your blog for its tone, aesthetic, and the wisdom you share. You're the kind of person I want to be.

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    1. thank you dear amy, what a lovely comment, i'm so flattered. i hope i don't let you down. :) x

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  6. Janet, your beautiful home never fails to cheer me.
    I love how you have chosen your pieces over time and you really have a gift.

    Thank you for "being there" for me and for many many other faithful readers who adore you.
    You've made my day!

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    1. thank you leslie for your kind words. thank you for reaching out to me also. we truly are all in this together. x

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  7. So glad to see your post! You're right, Janet. My blog helps me stay positive even when I'm going through a hard time. I'll be sending my prayers your way. Blue ginger jars and hydrangeas are so gorgeous together. I love it when blue ginger jars are displayed together. Looking forward to your next post xx

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    1. dear yuko, thank you for your comment and prayers. i guess i didn't realize just how important the blog was in helping me stay on an even keel during the storms. i'm so glad i figured it out. thank you for being such a loyal reader. x

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  8. Dearest Janet: I believe it's the complicated and difficult things in our life that make life so vibrant! It's the challenging times that mould our personality, our soul and strengthen our resolve. I love reading your blog, to this day I make your vegan mushroom gravy - and I am not even vegan! I love your beautiful home and garden and love reading your practical words. Hugs.

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    1. awww, that makes me so happy that you love the mushroom gravy so much. i love it too. :) thank you for your thoughtful words. believe it or not i'm just now getting to the point of being able to appreciate the disease of addiction. it has taken many many years. thank you for your kind words. x

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  9. I hope your break brought you some clarity on the good things you need to do for yourself. and I'm glad you decided that this space here, is a good thing. Believe me....believe all of us, it's the farthest thing from mediocre. It's one of my very favorite places to visit. xo

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    1. hi sarah. well you know that i think being mediocre is a good thing! i like the idea of being ordinary. :)
      i'm glad i came to the decision to stay too. x

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  10. Hi Janet, I am thrilled that you have decided to continue with your blog. It is my most favorite thing to read! Your commitment to staying vegan and living simply is such an inspiration to me. Thank you.

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    1. thank you tina! i am committed to being vegan and living simply that is for sure. your words encourage me to stay true to myself. x

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  11. Glad you are back! I haven't seen the movie, but enjoyed the book! Blogging is hard sometimes, but we all love your blog!

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    1. thank you dear wendy. i want to read the book now to see how different it may be from the movie. x

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    2. Haven't seen the movie but read the book. I read the book because my daughter raved about it. I did not like the book. I found it slow and boring. About 1/3 in I knew what was going to happen.

      However, I am so glad that you are back!!!

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  12. Hurrah.....you're staying! Now, no pressure but.....Hurray....you're staying!
    Lorraine

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  13. glad to see that you're back! stay strong! peace be with you!

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  14. So glad you're continuing...I love your blog...so real and refreshing...in a sea of over-styled lifestyle blogs yours is an absolute breath of fresh air...an authentically beautiful REAL life. The last photo is gorgeous - love how you selected flowers and fabric with the same motif! Must be a favorite!
    -Sarah

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    1. sarah, yourthoughtful comment has me bowled over and i'm humbled by it...thank you so much. i do love hydrangeas too. x

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  15. I love your blog. I was disappointed when you said you wouldn't be around as much and happy to see you are here again. I read you from sunny Australia. My daughter lives in America and even the fact that you are in the same country as her makes me feel more connected....and you think you are mediocre. You aren't you know.

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    1. awww robyn. isn't that wonderful that blogs can make this connection with people? i know spending 10 days with a busload of australians on my garden tour will forever keep me connected to australia. i do think i'm pretty mediocre but for me that is not a negative connotation. :) x

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  16. Good to hear-but PLEASE drop the word "mediocre" from you blog description and your post!
    The words we use can be self-fulfilling prophecies , so I suggest : delightful or ducky or sublime :)
    GG was a fab book-will see it as a movie next week.
    The HEAT here reminds me of TX this week! Wow. We need a solid month of rain, here is SD, don't we?

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    1. hi susan and thank you for your lovely words. you have to understand that me considering myself to be mediocre is not a bad thing. i love that fact that i'm ordinary...really i do! i should probably do another post on that. i did once...i think?! i am anxious to read the book now too. wonder what you'll think of the movie? yes on the rain...YES please! x

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  17. I"m glad to hear you are continuing your blog. There is something about finding beautiful/interesting/clever things to share that help us keep the balance in life. It is one of the things I like most about blogging too.

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    1. thank you dear grace. you are so right about blogging and helping us stay balanced. i think i was taking it for granted. i have am glad that i'm fixing that now! x

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  18. Your blog stands above. I wish sometimes I could do what you do, speak so simply, show such beautiful pictures. I think you absolutely get to use it to sustain you. That it sustain us too is a side benefit.

    xoxox

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    1. thank you dear lisa. what a beautiful comment. i'm blushing b/c your blog is outstanding and to think you admire mine? wow...i'm honored. x

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  19. I'm so glad you chose to keep the blog, you bring joy to so many, the ginger jars look lovely against the pillow to!

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  20. I am very glad that you are continuing to blog. It is always delightful to read someone else's perspective on real life. Your organized and simple approach is fascinating to me. Thank you for taking the time to share.

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    1. thank you teacups. i'm with you in that i love reading about how others approach their lives. it is fascinating! x

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  21. I was so glad to see this post! And even more happy to see that you are not giving up on blogging. Technically, this art of blogging is still a relatively new thing, and I think we are all still struggling to figure it out. The beauty of your blog is that you seem to have mastered that wonderful balance of art and décor interjected with snippets from your personal life. It's real. I cannot tell you how much your home and your minimalism have inspired me. Please don't stop blogging. If nothing else, just remember that you have at least one close friend - albeit it one that you have never seen or met :) - that does not judge and deeply relates to your ideas on motherhood and food and décor. So please hang in there. I am always happy to see your posts!

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    1. thank you dear michelle. what a thoughtful comment. i really don't feel as if i've mastered anything but i do keep trying. i do love that you consider us close friends, that warms my heart. x

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  22. Hi Janet I really enjoy your blog, its one of the few I read. Those ginger jars are beautiful and hydrangeas are pretty too. Are those from your garden?

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    1. thank you cherre. yes they are from my garden. they have been my pride and joy all summer long! x

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  23. Glad you are continuing, you are an inspiring woman in many ways!

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  24. I would love to see a post on what you wore during the summer, as we are gearing up towards summer now in aus
    Janey

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    1. oh well let me think about that janey. i'm sort of in a 'between' season right now. i pretty much lived in an old linen maxi skirt and tank tops all summer. it was a long and hot one. x

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  25. This cottage is another home for me, one I found when my life was particularly challenging. And I'm always happy when I see you have a new post.

    Sending best wishes and strength (whatever I have to spare!).

    Rebecca

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    1. thank you rebecca. i'm so happy to hear that in some small way you were cheered during a dark time in your life while visiting here. thank you for sharing that. x

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  26. Hi J

    I saw Gone Girl and enjoyed it but didn't love it. Great acting and nice houses though. Implausible story line but there you have it!

    I love a wicker bag.

    About to hit the garden, xxx

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  27. Also I am glad you are back to the blog.

    Sometimes I think about stopping mine but I do the enjoy the interaction. And without our blogs we would never had met. In real life and online etc.

    No one's life is perfect. No one gets it all.

    Sometimes a small patch of prettiness like pottering in a garden, a ginger jar or a kind comment from a stranger online can kind of save you.

    Love you x

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    1. i did enjoy most of the movie k. it became totally ridiculous in the end but like you i did enjoy a lot of it.
      you are so right about the blogs connecting us all. who would have ever thought we'd have met? it really is like a miracle! and you are right...no one has it all. :) x

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  28. So happy to hear you've decided to continue with your blog. You are like a breath of fresh air to me, and your posts are anything but mediocre!
    I'm sorry that you are going through such a difficult situation. I have a daughter who has been in the grasp of a horrid eating disorder for more than ten years now, and I'm about all she has left as a source of support. It's frustrating, heartbreaking, and extremely tiring, but happy little distractions make my days a lot more bearable . Your blog and your fabulous attitude are one of my happy distractions!

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    1. thank you anon and while i have not dealt with any kind of eating disorder i have read some about them. it must be torture for you too. maybe knowing we are in this together in similar ways can help us both a little more. thank you for sharing your story. x

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  29. I was excited to see your new post and happy you're back. My favorite thing about your blog is the lack of hype. I often ask myself "What Would Janet Do" and see you as a guiding light in so many things decorating, diet, simplicity, fashion. I'm old enough to know that no one is perfect and I don't hold you to an impossibly high standard. But it's so nice to hear a voice of sanity/reality mixed with grace/humor. Allegra

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    1. awww thank you so much allegra. you have been with me a long time now right?! i'm glad you don't see a lot of hype around here. i'm not much a fan of it either and hope i never drift in that direction. thank you for being such a loyal reader and friend. x

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  30. Equally glad here (in New Zealand) that you are continuing. Your blog has NEVER been boring, and I love your attitude to life - some days are good, some are not and some are fantastic! We all do the very best we can with what we have at the present time. Thanks so much for your inspiration, Janet.

    Regards
    Darlene in New Zealand

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    1. thank you darlene. yes, we all do the best we can at any given moment and some days it is easier than others. i'm always looking for peace even during the bad times. this blog has guided me though them. thank you! x

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  31. I do hope you keep blogging! I came here initially because of 333, but you're a great inspiration for a gentler kind of minimalism and "enough" so I enjoy all that you offer - thoughts, food and practical ideas. It would be so nice if your regular "support" continued :)

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    1. ah, thank you LMK it all. :) yes, i plan to continue to support you in any way possible. lol x

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  32. Your house is so beautiful Janet, I need to send you pics of my drab room and have you tell me how to lift it a bit.

    Everyone here laughed all the way through Gone Girl, the ending was so silly, but I did enjoy it, I've never read the book, so knew nothing about it.

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    1. thank you tabitha, but i highly doubt anything about your home is drab. that just can't be! that being said...i'd love to help!

      that's interesting that everyone laughed all the way through. our theatre was quiet and some people even applauded at the end. i haven't read the book either but want to now.

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    2. Yes! Everyone here in Melbourne laughed so much during Gone Girl! Thoroughly enjoyed it, but it definitely tickled our collective funny bones. Some scenes were hilarious. I wonder if there is some subtle difference between our national sense of humour?

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  33. So glad to hear that you plan to continue your blog! I have been reading it for three years now and it is, without a doubt,
    my favorite. I always find inspiration and refreshment from your posts, and the pictures of your home are lovely and calming. (Mediocre is not a word I would ever use to describe your blog!)
    I have never commented before but had to say a heartfelt "Thank you" to you for sharing your beautiful home and heart. Judy

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    1. thank you judy for taking the time to leave a comment. i appreciate your words so much. x

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  34. Yes, they look good but NOTHING beats the bunny at the back !

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    1. i know! i love that rabbit drawing. it's very dear to me! x

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  35. Welcome back from your break, there's never a mediocre post here. You generously share your life so your followers (rightly!) show their appreciation and express their thanks for the connection. Have a lovely day.

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    1. thank you lilac. i so appreciate your kind words - thank you so much. x

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  36. Post when you feel like it and don't post when you don't. No pressure. Goodness knows there is enough stress in our lives without adding on needless responsibilities. Distractions are essential for living; without them we would all be immobilised in fear. Your beautiful photos and thoughts provide a lovely respite from worrying about all types of issues and I am grateful for it.

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    1. thank you gk. you are so right about the distractions. i guess i wasn't giving them enough credit. i am grateful to you! x

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  37. Great to have you back Janet! Your home looks so bright and lovely and love the vintage tennis racket in the umbrella stand. You mustn't ever stay away too long as you're the only blogger that understands my budget constraints.

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    1. thank you g. we actually use those wooden rackets. they are such a great workout b/c of the weight. we are spoiled today with the lightweight rackets that are now used. i am an expert at living within budget restraints and plan to focus more on that in upcoming posts. x

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  38. Lovely to hear from you again Janet. Please don't think your blog posts are mediocre, I really enjoy seeing your oh so elegant home, knowing that it's been styled on a budget, it gives me hope. haha. Will look forward to seeing your silk skirt next time. You and your blog are reassuringly 'normal' in an arena where more than enough bloggers are up themselves.
    Long may you continue. xx

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    1. thank you fiona for your kind words. i suppose that is what my love of the mediocre is about. i like just being normal and having just enough. it suits me perfectly. x

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  39. I'm so glad to know you are not going anywhere. I think you have so many loyal readers because you are funny, honest, interesting, and you feel like the girl next door. Your blog posts are easy to read and never pretentious. You always share great information and you are so genuine when you respond to your readers. It's so nice knowing you we have helped you, when all along we thought you were helping us. Post when you feel like it, and please take care of yourself.

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    1. thank you dear emily. i'm so glad that you realize just how important you guys are. your input always keeps me on track. it really is a two way street. x

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  40. I am so pleased to read that you're continuing to blog. I always enjoy reading about snippets of your life and of course, you provide me with stylish fashion and interior decor. Grazie mille.

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    1. thank you jenny. i'm glad you get something out of this space. :) x

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  41. Janet, Clicking on your blog and seeing an updated post was like turning the corner and running into an old friend. Delighted to see and hear from you. LOVE how real and honest you are in sharing your life. We all have "things" we want to be different and sharing those struggles may encourage others who need to know they are not alone. So glad you will continue your blog.
    Mary

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    1. thank you mary. i'm so glad i got honest about this area of my life. if i can help just one other person it will be worth it. we are not alone! x

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  42. I don't often comment here but want you to know that your blog inspired mine. I took an almost-year long break from blogging when the busy-ness of my life pushed me out of my comfort zone. I thought about deleting the blog all together (not very widely read anyway)...but I'm glad I didn't because I'm back at it, purely for me. The motivation to find joy in every day life in order to write about it helps me balance and cope with the stuff I can't control. I'm glad you'll be around, Janet!

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    1. aww thank you lina. i really do try to write just for me. if i try to please everyone i get so far off track and it blows the whole reason why i'm blogging in the first place! i'm so glad you are continuing to write. x

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  43. Glad to see you're still here writing! You and your home is an inspiration to many. Stay with us! Want to talk about a dull blog, visit mine; I haven't posted in ages.... I'm in the process of pairing down and purging, would love to eventually have the look you do in your home. XO. Sue in NJ.

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    1. thank you sue. i'm so glad you are purging, isn't it such a good feeling?! i will pop over and see just how dull you are! lol x

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  44. Yes, you just keep on with those "mediocre posts" ... please! I don't often comment, but I'm always happy when I see one of your posts pop up in my reader. This morning that first beautiful, light-filled photograph lifted my spirits before I even read a word. The bits of yourself that you share are a blessing to your readers. I'm very glad you've decided to continue blogging.

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    1. thank you so much sbl. i'm so glad you liked that photo. the light was just right! you are a blessing to me. x

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  45. Very pleased to see your new post, Janet, and even happier to know that you will still be blogging! I understand how difficult it can be at times, but your posts are very much appreciated, so just share then whenever you get the chance. :)

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  46. I love blogs because they evolve and have different vibes at different times. I'm glad you are keeping it. Although, as mentioned by Susan above, I do wish you wouldn't call it mediocre. It's not true. There is a masterful architect here in Columbus who works on historical remodels for The Ohio State University, strikingly modern and innovative buildings, fantastical estates, and lovely homes. I remember when he told my mother that there was nothing more difficult than to design and build a "simple" house, with a flat front and square rooms. The details can kill you. If the pitch of the roof is ten degrees too low, the home is forgettable. If the pitch is ten degrees too high, the home looks formidable. Your "simple" blog has just the right pitch. And that's not the accidental work of a mediocre architect!

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    1. Awww...Stephen Andrew, that made me cry. You are such a sweetheart, not to mention your wicked sense of humor. Do you think you will return to your blog?

      Maggie Curiel

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    2. Hello, Maggie! Thank you. The short answer is: yes...
      The less short answer is that I found myself rolling my eyes at my own posts thinking they were kind of pointless. I don't have a strong direction for it right now. But that extends into my life as well. I'm on a massive early 90s Madonna tsunami of reinvention. So we'll see. I promise you haven't missed anything! I started to write a match . com profile the other night and ended up just spilling merlot on my keyboard as I was taking pictures of the absurd things I was writing to send my best friend. I decided that was enough dating for this year.

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    3. dear stephen andrew, yes, that made me cry too. you are either cracking me up or bringing me to tears it seems. like maggie i look forward to the return of your blog. you are far to witty and charming to not be writing everyday! thank you dear sir for your kind words...i'm so humbled by them. x

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  47. So glad you are sticking with it!! I love to read your posts. It is so much fun to see how different our lives are. I would miss your posts so much!! Don't forget about the people like me who don't comment much but, LOVE every word you write! Thanks for not giving up. Lisa in Fort Worth

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    1. thank you lisa. i do think seeing how people live is the great draw to blogs. i know it is for me. don't worry about not commenting. i read tons of blogs that i don't comment on. thanks for your encouraging words. x

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  48. Janet, I am so happy you will continue to post. I have recently found your blog and have read all of your posts (and comments) from the beginning, and was so sad to come to the end. I just find you and now you are finished???!! No!!!! How would we see the transformation of your cottage to that lovely pink shade? I love, love, love, everything about your blog- the sincerity of your writing, the pictures of your serene and stylish home and gardens, the clothes, the recipes. It's all good. And in no way mediocre. I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult time in your life. I think you are very courageous in sharing your story so honestly. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me. Anne

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    1. thank you anne, your comment means so much to me. i am glad i shared my story b/c it seems that there are a lot of us in similar boats. x

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  49. Let me add my heartfelt relief that you will continue to post your wonderful words and photos! Welcome back! Your blog lived at the top of my favorites list -- and I check here so often! Can't wait for a photo of your newest goodies -- and other fall bits and pieces! Hot hereabouts today but we are grateful for a bit of rain last night. We have set out our Halloween tombstones and ghouls on the front lawn -- still working on other bits too!

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage (well -- my home is now called Hemlock Cottage for October! LOL!)

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    1. thank you jan, you are sweet to comment. i bet your garden looks so great with all the halloween decor. it is hot here too! x

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  50. Janet, my heart did a "happy dance" when I clicked on your blog and there you were with another post!
    these last couple of weeks have been emotionally and physically challenging for me so I was so pleased to see
    that you are continuing as I have always found you a source of inspiration. I strive to live more simple and mindfully,
    not always successfully. You have shown that it is possible to do this with grace and even pleasure. I do hope that
    the difficult times will soon pass for you and your family. gratefully, Darby

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    1. thank you dear darby. i'm so happy to know that this blog brought you some relief during a difficult period. i can't tell you how that makes me feel. :) x

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  51. I'm so glad you're continuing with the blog, Juanita! I think many of us go through the stage of feeling its a bit silly and pointless especially when we're dealing with sad times. xxx

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    1. thanks vix. exactly! i realize now that it isn't pointless but rather very helpful. x

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  52. You have no idea what your blog means to me. Since my husband died, I have been adrift, unsure of my future, unsure of my purpose. Oddly enough, visiting my favorite blog friends, no matter how remote, provides an anchor. You, your life style, your honesty..the all of it, provides the serenity needed now. Thank you. I'm glad we help you....I have some purpose.

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    1. oh gail, your comment means so much to me as i know the heartache you are living with. life can be so damn hard. thank goodness we have each other. x

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  53. Pleased that you're feeling stronger Janet to continue gifting us with your generous insights. Onwards and upwards to you and your family.

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    1. thank you pam for your comment. onwards and upwards it is. what's the alternative?! x

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  54. Welcome back! My goodness Janet your blog posts are NOT mediocre! I very much enjoy them. Personally, I love blue & white. Your vignette with the ginger jars, hydrangea and pillow containing the same colors speaks volumes. So simple and tranquil, yet bursting with color. You have an amazing eye for photography! I do believe we all have seasons of melancholy. Seeing your refreshing photos of simplicity, and your gardens, certainly make my sometimes blue days, a lighter shade of blue. :) Don't be so hard on yourself. "Gone Girl" I read the book. I've seldom found the movie to be better than the book. xx

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    1. thank you mona. i'm ready for this season of sadness to move on...really i am. :)
      i didn't read the book and wonder if you'd like the movie. overall i did, even with the ending. x

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  55. Oi!
    Not failure.
    Not mediocre.
    Hugs, Zxx

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  56. Janet, I'm so sorry you're going through a difficult time. But, I'm so, so happy to read that you're keeping your blog. It's one of my absolute favorites! You have a very true following; clearly your readers adore you. I think you can feel that, and I hope it helps you. If you could keep it going on your own terms, and not feel pressure to adhere to any particular schedule, that might be less stressful for you. I, for one, will feel fortunate to take whatever you have to offer. Things that might seem ordinary to you are often extraordinary to others. Take good care of yourself. One day at a time. Kathy

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    1. dear kathy, i really do feel it in these comments. i'm so blessed to have this community. i wasn't sure how anyone would respond but i'm overwhelmed by all of your kindness. thank you so much for reading and yes, one day at a time. x

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  57. Cathie from France
    Hello Janet,
    I have been reading your blog for a few years by now and it never crossed my mind that you were writing "mediocre posts". On the contrary you have always been a source of inspiration for me ! I love your way of life and your philosophy as well. Your blog is one of my favourites and I love reading your posts ! Take care,

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    1. thank you cathie for your comment. whereabouts in france are you? thank you for reading and being supportive. x

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  58. I can't believe you think your blog posts are 'mediocre' ! Far from it - you don't know how much I look forward to a new post on your blog - I check it obsessively ! With all these positive comments you receive (and so many of them) I would not think for a minute that people don't love your blog and can't wait for a new post !

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    1. oh patricia, thank you so much. to me my life is mediocre and really really i'm so good with that. if anyone thinks it's better than that, well good! haha. i'm so blessed to have you all. x

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  59. Mediocre posts? More like comforting, pleasant, interesting, and inspirational as in I'm inspired to make my house as nice as yours.

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    1. thank you so much himmiefan. i really am overwhelmed by all your kindness. x

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  60. Hurrah! So pleased that you've come back so soon.
    You really have something special here Janet and the most supportive (and nice) group of followers. It feels as though I'm getting 'two for the price of one' when I read your blog - first from your post and then from the comments.
    The last photo is magazine worthy.

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    1. oh jo i do have THE best bunch of readers. i've always known it and now it's just incredible. the comments are really the best part of this blog for me. your lives are fascinating to me also. x

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  61. Janet, So happy that you've had a change of heart and will continue your blog. I love your photos of your home, your outfits that you find thrifting, your recipes and healthy lifestyle posts. I think the fact that you opened up about real life not being storybook perfect, makes you all the more relatable. I just read another blog that I have read for years where the blogger was a little hurt that her significant other did not recognize or appreciate the sweet and romantic gestures she makes. Although I felt her pain, it makes of us feel that we are not alone with our problems or worries and that real life is not all the perfect house, perfect life that is seems out there in blog land. Hang in there. This too shall pass.
    Pat in Chicago

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    1. thank you pat. yes, i agree with you. i've always been bothered that some readers have thought my life was so perfect. nobody has a perfect life. i'm so glad that the crack in my life is opened and now light is shining where there was darkness. all these comments mean so much to me. really you all have no idea. x

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  62. Janet- So glad to see you back. I so look forward to your posts...they always brighten my day :-) Susan

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  63. Nothing mediocre here! I love your posts and any glimpse into your home and life. You fascinate me so I'm very glad you're back!

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    1. thanks lynn. i'm happy you get something here. i don't see myself as even mildly fascinating. quite the opposite. x

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  64. What a delight to have clicked on your BLOG and see a new post. Your posts are charming, inspiring and "just make me smile". I am glad you are "back" and hope you allow us to "do life together" through your photos and words.

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  65. Some beautiful pictures on your blog, very inspiring, and I am so glad you are continuing to blog, we really do appreciate and enjoy your lovely posts. I too saw Gone Girl las week and did enjoy about half of the movie but it seemed to change after that

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  66. Yay!!!!! You are back! And mediocre? NOT! Such a delight to check on you and see your comments......feel the same way about Gone Girl.....Any vegan recipes soon? Janie

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  67. i was sad to hear you were taking a break, and DELIGHTED you are back.... i love your style and your posts!

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  68. I can't believe you're thinking, or were thinking, of stopping your blog...I've seen tons of blogs and it's the only one I bother to subscribe to and actually read. I've even sent it to three friends. I live in DC. The other week I was thinking you should do a coffee table book. Your posts about simple things like what you're having for dinner, or what you're spending on groceries or doing in the garden really make life seem less weighty. You're way underestimating the value of what you're doing for other people. I'm always happy to get the emails telling me there's another post. Please keep doing what you're doing!

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  69. Oh my goodness your pictures are breath taking - I especially love the Rabbit framed in the last picture. So happy you are back and nothing about your posts is mediocre! Nothing!! I am inspired every time I visit to live more simply and enjoy/be thankful for everything I have. Please know you are loved in this community and your voice is vital!

    Robbyn

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    1. I love the rabbit, too. Janet, can you tell us about the rabbit picture?

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  70. Woot Woot! Oh Yeah! Yippee! Yessireee!!! I am SOOOO happy to know you will continue sharing The Gardener's Cottage! This blog may seem small and mediocre to YOU, but to ME, it is one of my favorite joys.
    -Suzanne in Illinois

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  71. Hooray for hanging around for awhile! You have created such a nice community here. I always enjoy your posts and often, they cause to ponder something, and I really like that. And, while difficult to share challenges and trials in our lives, you have done so with grace and dignity. Sometimes that scratching beneath the surface unites us and makes us stronger. Anyway, I wish you all the best and am genuinely happy with your decision to not close up shop. Oh, and your weekend sounds pretty perfect!

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  72. I am so glad!!! Huge life lesson for this fan of many years and Alanon-er - staying connected rules. My first reaction to hurt is to isolate - then I'm led to see that there are better ways. Thank you so much. First, for sharing with us both the beautiful and the sad, and for STAYING. Much love!!!

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  73. Yipee!!! So happy you aren't going away:
    Love the blue bowl on your table:)

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  74. I am so happy that you are back!. I learned this year that my son has substance abuse problems (he lives overseas and kept the magnitude of the problem hidden for several years). This year has been one of the hardest of my life and your blog is always a joyful pause in my day.

    - Susan in SoCal

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  75. I'm so glad you've decided to continue with your blog - I so look forward to your posts. Mediocre is not a word I would use to describe you - inspiring, yes; mediocre, not so much. Thanks for all you do and share.

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  76. You are far from mediocre! I feel relaxed and inspired reading through your posts. There are a lot of blogs in cyberspace but very few great ones and I count you in the great category.

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  77. Your blog is the best. I love the blue ginger jars!

    We saw Gone Girl Friday. I liked it, my husband didn't like the ending.

    Betty

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  78. Janet, your blog in all of its simplicity is quite inspiring. I admire your dicipline to write consistently no matter the subject. Don't stop blogging unless it's not fun or meaningful to you any longer. I've not posted on my blog since May as I've been consumed with moving finally landing in northern California near wine country. Visiting your blog today was a high point!

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  79. Janet-I'm so happy you're back! Just have to tell you. In August and September, my husband and I accomplished a MAJOR purge of our home! We went through every drawer, cabinet, closet, box, under every bed and worked our way through the garage and both of our side yards ( we had a Garage sale, posted things on Craigslist, numerous trips to Goodwill/Restore, gave stuff away, and a trip to the Dump). Kinda funny our neighbors thought we were moving! Anyway, every time I'd feel like I had had enough and wanted to give up I'd take a break and read your posts on de-cluttering and living simply. Those posts would then inspire me to keep on going and we did! We completed the whole house project! Totally exhausting and exhilarating, but worth the work! We are now enjoying living in a home that is organized, clean and with a whole lot less of extraneous stuff!!! Thank you for writing this blog...you have inspired me in more ways than you know! Please know, that you and your family have been in my prayers.

    Renee in Northern California

    P.S. I'm still shopping at the .99 Store

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  80. Thank goodness, you are back! Your entire blog is interesting and inspiring to me. I enjoy reading it so much. I used your tip about using a little bit of Miracle Grow each time to water my pot plants and they look better than ever. Please don't ever change your layout - this one is so simple and easy to read. It is not cluttered up with a bunch of advertising that takes forever to load. In short - your blog is so beautiful and so are your writings.

    What did you do with all your children's stuff after they moved out (artwork, etc.)?

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SE NC

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    1. so totally agree with this comment...

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  81. Janet,

    I love your posts. Your comment at the end....about the ginger jars and flowers....so much what I think every day.

    Thanks for the time in preparing and completing your posts, I realize they are free for me.

    Thanks for being real and finding interesting things. It is nice.

    The comment about mediocre...I get your comment I think. I think you are humble.

    The best thoughts and good vibes sent your way.

    Thank you so much.

    Kind Regards,

    Ann

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  82. YAYAYAYAYAY! Hahaha... I think I said all the right things when you decided to take a break with "take your time. We will be here when you get back." Or whatever the heck I said...but I really was thinking....Oh, NO YOU DONT! You get your sassy little buns back here. We are your family, and you have to put up with us b/c we love you! Plus, I wanna see the Pink Cottage, darn it! Okay, sorry. That's my confession, and I'm a brat like that and I cant help it. I love to stop into your blog, like if we pulled up into our driveways next door to each other, we'd be all....let me put the milk in the fridge and then we can meet in the back garden for a glass of wine before the guys get home. Love that you are back, and I loved my hydrangeas this year as well! One new little plant in my new little house....Makes me giddy! Hugs, Lady!

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  83. YAAAAY JANET! You are one strong lady and a huge inspiration to us all to pick ourselves up when the going is rough and soldier on. You have won a great deal of respect and praise for "coming back." You have shown us the depth of your character and we are impressed. Love and good wishes - Jan-Leanne

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  84. Your posts are never mediocre and even though I have only found you this past few months, I take heart whenever I read your encouraging posts. Not to mention I love your decorating style. Each of your posts that shows your home are inspiring, thank you.
    Karen

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  85. I am glad you decided to continue your blogging. I also saw Gone Girl this weekend. I had read the book and wondered if the movie would have a different ending.. . .

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  86. Janet,
    You are officially cray cray and that is why I love you so very much. One day, you pull the plug or announce a break and then you are right back at it, teasing us with assemblages of beauty all the while life might sock you for a loop. Sitting on the edge of my seat, to see where you take us, what you show us and how you teach us to find beauty and inspiration in the little things.
    pve

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  87. I haven't read any of the 119 comments yet but, OMG, Janet, JANET, you are never mediocre! Never, ever!!!! As for Gone Girl, I read the book about a year after everybody else did; picked it up and never stopped reading, blurring my red eyes til I almost couldn't see. I'm wondering if the book just didn't translate well to the screen; that often happens (although the author, I understand, also wrote the screenplay). There's a movie coming out with Brad Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, I think called SERENA but don't quote me on that...a Depression-era epic, '30s. Looks very good. I found myself jumping to buy the book and I thought, nah, in this case, I've read enough about the movie that I don't want the book to color how I feel about the film. It goes both ways I guess. (Oh, yeah, your interior decorating? Awesome as always; just so calming and pleasant.)

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  88. I just finished reading Gone Girl. I figured the first 2/3 out ahead of time but the last 1/3, well, I didn't see that coming. I was excited about seeing the movie until I got to the last 1/3 of the book. And then I wondered if I would be able to stomach seeing that part of the plot line played out on screen. I'm going to give it a go because the first 2/3 is intriguing. I'm going to be taking my husband who hasn't read the book but I tried to warn him that it gets really twisted at the end. I mentioned to him that I feel bad for the people who haven't read the book ahead of time because they will enjoy the first part but feel stumped by the last part. I'm glad I know ahead of time, it helps, a little to brace yourself for the ending.

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  89. Interesting that you found the end of "Gone Girl" disappointing. I, as well as another friend, had the same feeling about the book. Even though it's getting such rave reviews, I'm wondering whether I want to be disappointed again. Then again, looking at Ben Afflack could be a treat.
    Don't discontinue your blog. I like to view my "favorites" every day, but even though you might not post every day, I still come back again and again. Very much enjoyed your referral to the gentleman down in El Casco. I'm an estate sale junkie who also takes in consignment shops and the like, and I always enjoy hearing about your bargains. Second-time-around can be a great thing!

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  90. Hi Janet Do I really need to add to the hundreds of people who have already told you of the relief they felt that you decided to keep your blog going? Probably not, but I'm going to tell you anyway!! I love reading your blog; you inspire me to keep my home less cluttered and my wardrobe simplified - though I am not yet as good as you in either department. That's one reason for me to want the blog to continue - you are inspiring even though you see yourself as mediocre (& yes I believe and agree there is nothing wrong with being mediocre, it's all this media hype that gets us thinking we have to be exceptional. If we were all exceptional, we wouldn't be exceptional!!!!) I can relate to much of what you write about & I feel you do so with utter integrity and sincerity. You don't pretend to live simply then spend thousands on a bag for example. I think that is why you have such a big following, you are leading us by example to improve our lives without preaching or scolding. I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time personally. Our children break our hearts a thousand times, but our love is magnified in them by a million, so it is a small price to pay. I wish only great blessings on you and your family, with much love healing will occur in time. Very best wishes, Karen

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  91. Well, I guess by now my comment will be overkill, but here goes. Your blog is anything but dull. Your sense of style, simplicity and honesty are refreshing. I look forward to your blog every week. When I was going through cancer therapy, I used your blog and others like yours as a welcome distraction from what I was experiencing. Connecting with others and enjoying the beautiful pictures, recipes and candid comments were a lifeline. Hope we can be a lifeline for you.

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  92. Janet, I read through everyone's comments and I agree with all of them. So many people feel the same way as I do about this blog. The only word that best describes how I felt when I saw your new post is "phew"! I'm so relieved I won't have to hunt around for a new blog that could even hold a candle to yours. Selfish me? Yup. And thanks for being here. Really. Thank you.
    <3
    ~diane

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  93. I'm also a reader from New Zealand and love the glimpse of your life that you offer us. Great news that you're going to keep going with this blog as I love how you style your home. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now and as a result, have started to declutter and am not buying "stuff" for no reason.
    Thank you
    Stephanie

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  94. I was so happy to see your post , as I was afraid it might be awhile before you wrote again. And I do look forward to seeing "Gardener's Cottage" pop up in my email! : ) I am wishing all the best for your son. My daughter is grown up with little ones, but I told her the other day that no matter if she was an adult , being a mother is a life sentence! You can't stop being a mom no matter their age. Also, on the matter of your house, I love to see pics of it and your garden , and sometimes just picture them as I'm going thru the day! They're so pretty and calming. I like to watch "House Hunters",and when they are looking at huge, expensive houses, sometimes I think to myself - still not as pretty as Janet's! xx Kay

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  95. Janet, thank you for creating this beautiful blog; you have inspired me so much! I thought you might like this wonderful website I just discovered: http://whiteonricecouple.com/garden/. (They had me at "Heirloom Tomato Galette" and "Baked Figs, etc. on Grilled Bread".) Happy Autumn!

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  96. I enjoy your blog so much.....thank you for the inspiration!!!!! I am trying like the dickens to pare down.....my family is fighting it.....it's ok....I'll keep trying

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  97. As evidenced by the number of comments on this post, WE LOVE YOU!
    I have walked in your shoes and just want to tell you do not give up hope. Keep praying, miracles can happen.

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  98. So relieved you'll keep blogging, Janet. It's like an ocean of calm in this internet-digital-storm that's been created, and there are days I go to your past posts just for the sense of beauty and simplicity you've created. I won't go into my tale of woe to explain why the goal of each day is to get through it as gracefully as possible, but I will tell you that as a mother I stand with you in strength and the knowledge that whatever we can do for ourselves to bring moments of joy can save us. Thanks for reminding me about that.

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  99. Thank you for being the instigator of our little gang here. Without you, we wouldn't have met and learned so much from each other. You and other like-minded souls have helped us simplify and purge and garden and not shop and eat/cook healthier and we have experienced that LESS is really MORE.
    You are touching so many lives around the entire world with your blog and we can encourage each other through the highs and the lows of life.
    ~skye

    P.S. Let us know what day to show up with our paint brushes!

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  100. I also enjoy your blog. Your simple lifestyle resonates with me.

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  101. When I first started reading your blog, I will admit, I was a bit hesitant as to whether or not I would continue. But something kept drawing me in, your simplicity, easiness, truthfulness, etc... Now knowing that we share so much in common, even though we don't know one another, has led me to share with you and other readers, things I thought I would never ever share. So thank you for keep on keeping on. There is healing in all of this blog craziness! Know that you are blessed and loved...

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  102. Janet, I must tell you that I subscribe to a number of decorating blogs. Your blog is honest, interesting, and by far my favorite blog. I was surprised to see you use the word "mediocre" when describing it as it is far from mediocre. Sometimes when we strive to do/be better we don't realize that we have arrived or at least are much closer than we realize. Thank you for your blog. I truly enjoy it!!! Take Care.

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  103. Janet, so glad to see that you popped in for a post. I hope things are going better for you.

    As you know I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now (4 years and counting) and to this day remains one of my favorites. I would really hate to see you stop blogging...just do it when you feel like it. I'm glad to hear that your readers are what keep you motivated to continue!

    Love your collection of ginger jars...I just bought two of the exact same double happiness jars recently. First on ebay and then a few weeks later at a estate sale got one the last day of the sale reduced to $12.00. I also scored a blue and white garden stool for $35.00! :)

    Linda
    xo


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  104. It's always the little things, isn't it Janet? xx annie

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  105. I enjoy your blog and am so happy that you are going to continue to inspire us all. There are many times throughout my week that something you wrote in your blog resonates with me...your simplicity speaks volumes and you are soooo inspiring!! You are wonderful and don't even begin to think otherwise! Thank you for your time, photos and sharing your beautiful life with us. You will never know how something you post can touch someone else's life in such a wonderful way. I really only follow 2 blogs now and you are by far my favorite!

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  106. I am so very happy to hear you will continue with the blog. I have come to look forward to reading it for quite a few years now and would miss it very much! We all have ups and downs...keep on keeping on is what I say!!!

    Laura

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  107. Hi Janet,

    So happy you decided to keep blogging. Your blogs are full of great information, inspiring decorating and gardening ideas and yes I want to see the pink house too!! I enjoy seeing what treasures you find at estate sales as well.
    I went to see Gone Girl last night with some girlfriends(members of my book club). We read the book last month and most were disappointed with how it ended.
    Enjoy the lovely fall weather.
    Marilyn

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  108. Janet, I don't think I can add any new insight, I echo what everyone is saying. You are a most relate-able writer and I look forward to your thoughts!

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  109. I'm happy to hear you will continue, I look forward to reading your blog at lunchtime. It puts me in a calm, orderly mood. :)

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  110. It has been hard to find like minded people in my life who also believe that living simply can mean living very well. Finding your blog was an incredible gift. I've been inspired by everything from your style to what is in your kitchen drawers. [a favorite post] I know that sharing your life with others online is often thankless and puts you out there for others to hit back at you with snark or anonymous cruelty. You seem to attract the best of readers which is a testament to the kindness that shines through your writing.

    As the daughter of a lifelong alcoholic father who has refused to admit his problem, let alone seek treatment, I understand the pain and chaos the family is put through. What I cannot ever begin to know is how exponentially greater that pain must be when the addict is your child.

    Wishing you peace and strength of family, Janet.

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  111. Comment #181 here, Janet; wow. Wanted to share...my neighbor found a newer 99-cent store in another town closer to my town, worth the 25-min drive which I think I can pull off after many months of not being able to drive that long due to hurting my knee/hip. Anyway, it has FOOD and none of ours locally have food. I went over everything she bought and it was good-quality stuff...she had leeks, celery, lettuce, new potatoes; wonderful collection of fresh produce, plus a nice bread. I'm excited about this; I was really excited when she showed me her grocery ticket. Now, see, I might have thought she was nutz if you hadn't already clued us in about these stores; my neighbor is 81 and on a strict budget due to limited income and trying to pay off her home which she bought late in life after a series of life events including divorce which might have brought some of the rest of us to our knees but she is a survivor, I'm telling you. Another interesting thing she told me was that she happened to get into a discussion with the 'meat guy' at one of our big-box grocery stores, which was how nobody is buying full-price meat because it is so expensive, so he winds up putting something like 100 packs of totally good meat into the discount rack daily and that's what's getting bought. I'd like to think people in general are eschewing meat altogether or at least going meatless a few times a week...I guess meat prices are outtasight here in SoCal in the markets. I'm just feeling winds of change, for the good, somehow...I think, too, 'cause on the personal front, my husband is feeling a lot of fatigue and insomnia, so the doctor has really counseled him lately (she's new, and a lot 'better' than the old guy he was seeing who retired) about turning from fast food toward slow food to improve his health as he nears retirement age if he wants to live to an older age and get his energy back. With me trying to eat more sensibly and him, too, it makes it easier, with nicer food in the house, cooking together, working jointly toward a goal of being healthier...with him, I never thought I'd see the day but never too late to start to be smart. The body takes more attention as we age and it won't put up with a lot of sh*t, you know? I'm feeling so pumped about all of this. Yay! I hope I'm giving you a smile; you have consistently helped me to keep pushing, to eat better, to live better. I just don't think you know how much you've helped your readers and how you continue to help all the time. I wish I could do something for you but all I can is to say thank you ten million times.

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  112. Janet, the third photo down is worthy of House Beautiful cover!

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  113. Dear Janet - I tried commenting a few post back when you first shared about your son, but for some reason it was never published. I think perhaps I didn't hit publish, as I was commenting anonymous for the first time, I could have messed up on my end. Briefly, I want to thank you for sharing your story about your son. I have a 17 year old son who is battling alcoholism. It. Is. Heartbreaking. Your post came along at just the right time. You inspired me to share our shameful secret with a couple of close family members, who up until a week ago had no idea what we were going through. I ordered Charles' book and his book and blog have been very helpful. We made the very tough choice (but the absolute right one) to place our son in a residential treatment facility. He's been in one week today. Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone and providing resources. I have followed your blog for years and enjoy it so very much. I follow several blogs, but yours is one of three that I comment on and enjoy the comment section. I always learn so much from your commenters. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your beautiful home, your recipes, your elegant style and reminding us all to appreciate the simple and beautiful things in our lives. Prayers, love and light for you and yours...

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    1. thank you for sharing. it is heartbreaking. our son has been through treatment many times and has learned much. i have hope that one day it will stick. i'm glad you are reading charlie's blog and book. that makes me so happy b/c he really cuts through all the bs out there. i too will pray for your son. xo

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  114. I so enjoy your blog, Janet. I'm sorry I've been missing you. So glad you're continuing in your special way xo

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  115. So glad you decided to continue. You are a big part of my daily routine now and for the past few years. When I lost my husband you sent a short email and I will never forget it. I consider us friends now. :) Every life has trials. May yours be short but meaningful. xoxo

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  116. Love your blog. Yours is one of my top three favorites. There's something about your honesty and great photos that I'm drawn to. And your topics are helpful and interest me - food, fashion, interior design and green living - all good. I must say I love the drawing of the little rabbit peeking around the ginger jars in your photo. So sweet.

    Best regards,
    Maggie

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  117. I am so glad to see you back. I love to read your blog. After a bad day I am always delighted with your clean lined white fresh home.

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kindness is never out of style.

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