Did I ever tell you how I began blogging? No? It’s an interesting story; it all still blows me away actually.
Grab a lemonade and that plate of cookies on the hutch. Let’s go sit down over here on the swing and I’ll share how this whole bloggy thing got started. (Lemonade ‘scape can be viewed here: Lemonade on the Porch: The 47th Tablescape Thursday.)
It’s a story I love to tell because it still amazes me the turns and twists life can take.
I guess it all started the day I Googled. I don’t even remember now what I was Googling for that day but I came across a website unlike any I had ever seen before. A very nice person was showing pictures of a room she was decorating inside her home. For this house obsessed woman (that being me) the site was a delightful find. It was a little like a home tour but without having to even leave my house. How cool was this!
I bookmarked the site, planning to go back again to read some more later. From time to time, maybe every couple of weeks, I would check to see if she had posted again. I don’t think I even realized I was reading a blog, in fact I know I didn’t in the beginning. I just knew it was so much fun seeing what she was up to next in her home. Occasionally, I would click on the links of fun names she had showing on her sidebar. That magically somehow took me to other sites that were also showing pretty homes and gardens. This was amazing!
Shortly after that awesome discovery, I one day stumbled across the HGTV site, Rate My Space. I had just added a screened-in porch to my home and was busy on the weekends shopping for wicker furniture to furnish it.
I was working full time outside the home but one weekend when I had some extra time, I got brave and uploaded a few pics to RMS. I still remember my Log-In or User Name was Moonlight and Magnolias. I think the first room I uploaded was pictures of my family room. Looking back on the site now, the date I uploaded those was April 26, 2008. Wow, what a fun day!
On July 5th, when I had another day off from work, I uploaded photos of the porch. By that time I had it mostly furnished. I quickly discovered what a great community RMS could be. I met the most wonderful dearhearts there and we remain friends even today.
RMS was the place I first heard and learned the meaning of the word, Troll. I had never heard that word, other than in children’s fairy tales. Trolls were supposed to be those scary creatures that hung out under bridges and taunted or threatened you if you dared to cross the bridge. Right?
RMS had its share of trolls. The Urban Dictionary online defines a troll this way: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument. That pretty well describes what trolls did on RMS, except some could be really, really mean. Things could definitely get ugly. I was so naive about such, had no idea folks could be so mean about “decorating.”
From time to time, the occasional troll would try and rain on everyone’s parade but for the most part, we all had the best time uploading photos to share and visiting each other in RMS Land. RMS was every bit as addictive as blog reading and Pinterest are today.
Shortly after I added on the screened-in porch, I decided I needed some fun dishware for the porch, something that felt summery. I found a hutch and painted it so I’d have a place to store the porch dishes.
You can read about the hutch here: Painting Furniture: A China Hutch Transformation
After I bought the porch dishes, which was the beach set you see below, I was busting to share it with all my new friends on RMS. RMS did not have a “tablescape” category, so when I uploaded my pics, I went with the “porch” category since the table setting was out on the porch. I remember wondering if RMS would mind if I posted a table setting on their site. I figured if they did, they would probably just remove it and I would get an e-mail from them saying only rooms were allowed.
The table setting wasn’t deleted and no email arrived, so all appeared to be fine. Since then, HGTV has contacted me from time to time and requested tablescape pics for various articles. Later when I started my blog, I deleted the beach pics from the RMS site since I was going to put them on my blog. HGTV contacted me and asked me to put them back on RMS because they had planned to feature the beach table in an upcoming article on their site. You’ll find it here: Elegant Table Settings for All Occasions.
Anyway, since the tablescape wasn’t removed and my sweet RMS friends enjoyed seeing it, I added a few more tablescapes to the RMS site. Apparently, another RMS poster wasn’t too happy about me posting my tablescapes in the porch category and they left a pretty ugly comment stating their displeasure loud and clear.
I wondered why they cared if a tablescape was posted in the porch category. Then I realized they had posted a porch on RMS and since the tablescape received favorable ratings, it had pushed their porch off of the front page of the porch category. Oops. I had certainly not meant for that to happen, I had just plunged headlong into this magical world of RMS and was practically giddy with this new way of sharing and seeing wonderful, beautiful spaces online. That comment was like a big ole womp, womp.
There was no way to delete a comment on RMS and I knew better than to respond to the comment since I had seen what happened when folks responded to troll comments. An all-0ut war always insued with friends coming to the rescue and attacking the troll. It could get really ugly. I know some of you who are reading this and used to post on RMS know what I’m talking about. It was best to ignore the occasional mean comment, thus depriving trolls that which they sought most: attention and chaos.
So, the comment just sat there, a festering sore on an otherwise fun time. That is until another comment appeared, a comment that ultimately changed my life.
To be continued…
Pssst: You’ll find Part 2 of this series here: My Blogging Story, Part 2: Beware the 3-Day Weekend