My Blogging Story: How It All Began

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.

Porch Swing


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?

 Image Source

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. 

From Pinterest

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


  1. Mary from Virginia says:

    To be continuted?! I hope you mean the rest will be up in by 8:00 ;-) I gotta know!

    It is hard to believe you would get a Troll on RMS. I used to go there and I’m pretty sure that is how I found you!

    This is a fun read!!!

  2. Your killing me with the suspense. I remember when you were m&m and I would drool over your porches and then your blog….My story is very much the same, RMS, mean peopls, blog…best thing that ever happened. Can’t wait to keep reading.

  3. I just love your blog!!! Can’t wait to read the rest!!!

  4. I remember the RMS days. I had just started blogging when I discovered RMS. Never did get into it much as I was busy with the blog. But I did enjoy and always kept my eye open for Trolls.
    Looking forward to the rest of the story Susan.:-)

  5. Me too! Don’t wait too long for the to be continued……
    Fun to read your story, Susan. If I were to write my blogging story, you know who would be one of the main contributing factors. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing……….Sarah

  6. Susan,I will be anticipating the rest of your story….it is ironic cause I just received a message from one of the sweetest lady’s in blog land that has really scared me,she is going private because of meanness,I have just posted on my blog about meanness in blog land….didn’t know they actually had a name ~~~TROLLS~~~. I received a mean-spirited comment way back when I linked up on a linky party(I love linky parties) and the hostess wasn’t the hostess with the mostess,matter fact she is a snooty toot…And it’s these folks that take the fun out of something that we enjoy,sometimes I just don’t get it,I would like to say that you have always been so sweet and I enjoy reading your blog and your photo’s are incredible…with that said, get back to the story…we are WAITING!!

    • Susan I hate to bother you,I know how busy you are,but I was wondering if you know how to block a website on my blog,when I check my stats on my blog there is this website that seems to be checking my blog several times a day,why I don’t know!!…but I want to know if there is a way to block this website from my blog??????Thank You.

      • Jo, If you blog on Blogger, I don’t think there’s a way to block a specific person or website. If you blog on WP, it appears they have a couple of plugins that may do that. I have not tried these plugins so I don’t know if they will interfere with anything else. I think I read somewhere that they can sometime interfere with WP-cache, another plugin…but not sure if that is correct.
        Check out these two plugins if you blog on WP: AND
        If you google, “word press plugins that ban” a bunch will pop up.
        Hope this helps

        • Oh, one more thing, when you blog in WordPress, you can always see the IP address of someone who leaves a comment. So you could report their abusive comments to their cable internet company or whoever they get their service through. They would probably fine them or shut them down entirely, depending on what they are doing, etc…

          • Thank you!…Google has taken care of this problem,I received this message:This site is no longer in service or has been disabled due to a terms of service violation.

            So they are gone and I am glad,thank you for all the info and I appreciate you so much!!

  7. I enjoyed reading the first part of your story! I too, discovered blogging from Rate My Space. Looking forward to part 2.

    • LOL….So did I! I was cruising around RMS and saw a lady who painted furniture. It led me to her blog, which led to another blog, etc…..! How cool was this??? I was heaven. Had no idea all of this was out here!

  8. That;s how I came across your luvly porch. On RMS. But the difference in names threw me off. I found you there and would sneak on and peek at your rooms. My sun room has the (WalMart) sheers like yours and that caught my eye.
    Didn’t realize it had been that long since I have been looking at your house pictures.. :-)
    Awaiting the rest of the story..
    Cheers, Gee

  9. Linsey @ The Farmhouse Porch says:

    You have an undeniable gift for storytelling, that’s for sure! I look forward to the next chapter of this post!

  10. Love this my taking a trip down RMS lane..I so remember your first post on RMS and how much I truly loved seeing each post you did after that..Oh to go by your porch and pretend to eat all your chocolate chip cookies ha ha!! We did have some fun and because of RMS I met so many great women that I still call my friends to this day..I so remember trying to figure out who Gollum was and having it all wrong..As Bob Hope would say ” Thanks for the memories” Hugs and love Gl♥ria

    • Gloria, we really did have a great time! At the time, I was blogging on a lap top and I would take it out onto the porch and read and comment to way past dark. I remember all those mornings in your beautiful kitchen! :)

  11. dunh dunh duuuuuuuhn… ! ;-) It just felt appropriate! Good story so far!

  12. Ok I’m listening…. You got my attention and then to be continued. Susan how could you.
    I’m there with Jo, I first blogged over a year ago and linked up with a party. I had the same experience
    with the hostess not liking my post or pictures. Well I never went back there. Once hurt twice shy.
    I believe I started following your blog for along time before I leapt into blogland.

  13. debbiedoos says:

    Sure leave us hanging! Susan, I have a feeling your story is very similar. I was trolled to death on a point I lost sleep some nights over it. Seriously, there were some whacko’s there. However, the friends I made from that site are ever lasting. The woman that encouraged me to blog, literally brought tears to my eyes from encouragement. I went on to encourage many others to start blogging because of it. They are all still here too and doing awesome. I don’t miss it there, however, I do thank RMS for giving me the courage to move on without the trolls:)! Can’t wait to hear your Part II

    • Debbie, I am so sorry to hear that happened to you. I got off pretty light compared to some folks. I definitely don’t miss the trolls! Glad you are in Blogland now! We can still get the occasional troll but we don’t have to put up with their nonsense now. :)

    • Debbie, I remember seeing your posts and the troll replies! I know exactly who you are referring to. She went to everyone’s posts and critiqued them to death! I always had to laugh at these so called “experts”. They had NO posts/pictures of their own!

  14. Susan…I just love this “cliffhanger” story….so I shall wait patiently for the series finale….What ever led you to blogging (waiting for the end of the story) I am so happy it did…as I love your blog!

  15. Oh man! I can’t wait for the continuation! :)

  16. Susan,
    You are the reason I started blogging. I had googled “screened porch decor” because I have a screen porch and wanted to spiff it up. WELL!!!!! I had never even heard of blogging or blogs. SO, after inhaling your blog for several hours, I came back all the time, and kept looking at your linky parties. I am not very computer literate, so this was a huge step. I can’t tell you the hours I spent trying to set up a blog. Add one more person to the list that you have passed your beautiful addiction on to.

  17. Susan, you were describing me with the google part. That’s how I discovered your blog looking for tables cape ideas. Up until a month ago I had no idea this great world of bloggers existed. Now I’m hooked and have started redoing my house again to my husbands ” not another project”. Thanks for the inspiration. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to start my own blog!

  18. I enjoyed your post very much and look forward to Part 2.

  19. I have never been to RMS, and I think I am glad! I kinda got to the blogs the same way you did, I googled something, and found a lovely blog (Cozy Little House), got so caught up in it I went alllll the way to the beginning and read every word. Then clicked on something that looked interesting, another blog, and the rest is history. I don’t have my own blog, yet, but I am considering it! Everybody is so nice, and it is really special to find so many people who love the same sorts of things I enjoy.
    Looking forward to the rest of your story….Sandra

    • I’m another Sandra who found you EXACTLY the same way. I’m a dish fanatic and have always “set the table” , didn’t know the word tablescape, and my daughters told me NONE of their friends ever had to polish silver, etc. (all that to explain the degree of my addiction). Brenda at Cosy Little House has a set of dishes that look so much like my grandaughter’s nursery bedding and due to my addiction #1 daughter sent me a picture to identify them (which I did through Anyway, clicking merrily along I found your tablescapes (AHA !!! There’s a name for this affliction), saw the porch – which instantly took my back to dinner on grandmothers screened in back porch – and I’ve been your reader ever since. I enjoy your sense of style, your Georgeous photography and the easy elegance you display in your blog. Now that’s all said – please, please, with sugar on top, tell us the rest of the story! Sandra (aka Suziq1023)

  20. Whatever propelled you into blogging was a gift to all of us! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

  21. Your posts are always so pretty. I come here often just to snoop around and enjoy!. Waiting for part 2.
    I have never visited Rate My Space. Is it still there. Going to go google it now.

    • Lynn, it is still there. Apparently, the site was started to create interest for the TV show, Rate My Space, which got underway a good bit later. The show only ran a couple of seasons, I think. I watch so little TV, I never saw but maybe part of a couple of episodes. The online site is still there, though.

  22. What agreat story Susan! I always wondered how you went into blogging. I found Bill of Affordable Accountrements while checking for tablescapes at Martha Stewart’s and I found him and we got to be friends and he sent me to you and I loved your BNOTP and was AMAZED at all I saw there, been the things I loved!…than I found one of your parties, which I didn’t even know what that was and I was and my AMZEMENT CONTINUED!!!! Being a dish lover, who loves the home and everything petaining it, I was dead and gone to heaven! Days went by while I kept on visiting you and finally my daughter said: Mama, they’re bloggers!!!…the rest is history and this was 1 year and 9 months ago!!!
    Thanks for sharing this incredible and amazing story!

  23. I don’t remember how I found you, but I’m so glad I did. I don’t have a porch, I don’t make tablescapes, and I don’t have a blog. You inspire me with your friendly manners and enthusiasm for life. I especially enjoy the house tours you take us on, and I loved the story of the giant tree you once wrote about. You make your blog personal. I like knowing you are the real person I may someday run into somewhere in Atlanta. Thanks!!

  24. So ironic, yours was one of the first blogs I started to follow when I finally learned how to navigate the internet – only a few years ago. I, too, love HGTV, house tours, decorating, and all that other good stuff! I figured out what blogs were pretty fast and it was immediate love. I would also take the blogs that were listed on a favorite site’s sidebar as my next destinations. I can’t believe you are leaving us hanging but I will be back. ( I remember when you first posted (lifesized) Sock Monkey posed at your desk I thought, “This woman has a sense of humor!”)

  25. Hi Susan! Oh, no! I don’t want to wait but I guess I’ll have to. I remember when you first started on RMS and just stole the show! I had never heard of a tablescape or had I ever seen a table decorated as beautifully as yours! ;)
    Those were the days.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  26. LOVE reading your genesis into blogging. When I got to “to be continued…”, I silently shouted, “NOOOO!” I want to keep reading.” I am quite new to this kind of blog, having found yours via Pinterest, and I have to say that this is one of my most enjoyable experiences. (The other blogs have been educational or have just been one person’s diary, more or less.) I eagerly look forward to reading more. Thank you for sharing your lovely nest, your talent for tablescapes, and your stories.

  27. Yep, it was the beginning of a great friendship. So glad you didn’t let the Trolls get you down. Susan, you are a pleasure and a true blessing to my life. Love you!

  28. The way I started my blog was from Pinterest. I didn’t realize I was reading and posting from blogs until one day I thought “I have some things to share too!”. Then I learned all about blogs. Thanks for an interesting story so far.

  29. I remember ‘RMS’, although I could never seem to get my pics on there. It turns out it was my browser! Kind of frustrating because I think if I had been able to do that, I would be much further along with my blog, and instead of having fun for the last four months, it could have been the last four years! I used to hang out at BHG, and a few women migrated from there to RMS and the rest is history.

    I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story! Hurry up!!!

  30. Hi Susan, The trolls took the fun out of RMS – but where else could I read and see real life decorating! Then, one day you had a link to your blog on your RMS page. I never went back to RMS. I love reading your blog!! My childhood home had a screened-in porch – a term I hadn’t heard in years!! My current home also has a screened-in porch – it’s what sold me on this house. I was naturally drawn to Between Naps on the Porch!! Thank you!!!

  31. imjacobsmom says:

    Hi Susan ~ Such a fun stroll down memory lane. I remember our RMS days well ~(before the TV show ruined the spirit of it.) I want to thank you for extending your hand of friendship to me. Without that I never would have stumbled upon Gollum (Michael Lee West) and her blog and all our RMS and blogging buddies. Thanks for the fun inspiration and sharing your lovely home and family with us. ~ Robyn

    • Thanks, Robyn! Michael was and still is such a blessing. She was what got us through all those awful troll days. Remember how she would feature pics on her blog of those that had been so badly picked on at RMS. She really took all the sting out of the havoc/pain the trolls caused.

  32. Michele from Finch Rest says:

    OMG You “continued” us……… are killin me, Susan!

    Awesome post, so neat to read the history……..never knew there was a term for nasty nancys. Troll, huh? Well hurting people is a sin and, well, God is watching, so they’d better be worried and get a life elsewhere.

    LOVE your blog, but, uh you kinda knew that already. : – )

  33. I met you on RMS!!! I never go there anymore, just because of the trolls:( It is so sad how the site changed. It was so much fun, while it lasted. XO, Pinky

  34. Wow, what a fun post, full of NEW to me information. It’s really fun to learn of your “beginnings”! I had never heard of RMS, and I’m appalled at the description of the evil lengths that people go to in an ignorant attempt to inflict pain on others. I am so glad that you persisted, and that your lovely BNOTP is one of the places I look forward to visiting!
    Can’t wait for the sequel!

    ps. Is all going well with your eyes/vision??~~Merri Jo

    • Merri Jo, I’m sort of stuck…haven’t done anything. The doctor who prescribed the contacts that don’t work so well is against the Ortho K…she wants to try to find contacts that work for me. I am supposed to start wearing the contacts again every day and go back in two weeks…well was supposed to do that two weeks ago and still haven’t done it since I can’t wear them and blog easily. So, I haven’t done anything. She also thinks that even if the Ortho K didn’t hurt my eyes in some way, that it wouldn’t work for seeing the computer…would only help my distance vision. And it’s very expensive to try, if it doesn’t work for being able to see the computer and distance both. So, I haven’t done anything at all. Too conflicted, too unsure. I may just end up wearing some rimless Silhouette glasses…just not sure. Thanks for checking, though.

  35. Those tablescapes on RMS sure impressed me Susan. So glad I can still enjoy them here. Hope you do part 2 early. I can’t wait!!! Teas

  36. Umm, to be continued… it’s like pages torn out of a good book! Please continue now! LOL, I’ll try to wait patiently. And boy are you right, RMS could get ugly sometimes!!

  37. Oh what a tease! : ) I so love your post and your photos. I used to go on RMS when there was a “Troll Attack” that became so bad I never went back. It went on for a long time . . . *_* Hope we don’t have to wait to long for part 2! -_^

  38. Hi, Susan!
    I don’t know RMS, I only know I found you through “Debbiedoos” (I love this lady!) and I am happy I did!
    Because of my love to the U.S., someday I googled “Christmas in the U.S.A.”, in German. So I found a nice German lady who lives in the States and was just blogging about her life in America. This was the day I discovered the “blog world” from the States! Oh, happy day! Needless to say, since then I enjoy every day my beloved blogs from the U.S.! That’s for me the best way to connect two of my favorite pastimes: Enjoying American houses and learning English! I know my English is not perfect, but I’m sure without your help it would be worse! LOL Thank you so much for that! :-)
    Unfortunately, no one of my friends is interested in foreign languages. My German friends do speak German, only, and my Italian friends who “must” learn German don’t think they can manage TWO foreign languages and they all are convinced that English is soooo hard to learn! I think, when you never try you will never know! (But, maybe I think so, because I love America and all Americans, too! :-D)
    Susan, I can assure you, I personally am soooo glad to be able to enjoy your blog and I thank you so much for that!

    (But maybe I think so because I love America and all Americans! :-D)
    Thank you for being who you are, Susan!

  39. Susan, above you can see how much I love you all! I need to write that twice! LOL

  40. Fascinating! Never heard of RMS or trolls! Sometimes there are people who make mean comments on blogs too but thankfully have never met them! But I know some Christian bloggers have closed down their blogs because of it! Sooo sad! Patsy from HeARTworks and papemelroti.

  41. Doreen Krajzel says:

    Ahhhhh, so how long do we have to wait for the rest of the story???? I need to go out this morning and Hope, Hope, Hope you will have posted already by the time I get back! Love your porch, it is the prettiest I have ever seen! Love and Hugs, Nana.

  42. Will be checking back to learn the rest of this story and I absolutely love your blog! You have such a personal and also professional way in presenting things. Reading BNOTP is a bright spot to the day & it has become better than looking through decorating magazines. Now hurry up with the continuation of today’s story, please :)!

  43. I’m not a blogger but do love decorating & have subscribed over the years to just about every decorating mag there is. I ADORE your blog & am so glad I recently found it. Can’t wait for part 2!

  44. MariaElena says:

    Oh, no! You have to continue! Please! LOL What a great post! I had no idea!

  45. You must include how to deal with “the skunk at the party”, aka trolls. I don’t understand why people get so upset about food or dishes, or a bargain at a flea market. They should go over to the political blog and leave the rest of us alone.

  46. Ann s Mindicino says:

    Dear Susan, I have been so interested in how you started and how you got so successful. I’ve been searching various blog sites for a year or so. I like yours the best. Beyond that I am interested in perhaps blogging myself. I’ve said it before but it feels like a community or a club I might like to belong to. I write a lot but not sure I’m ready to take the “plunge” as you put it. I look forward to seeing the rest of the story. Perhaps it’s a HOW TO BLOG book! I did request this awhile back and so glad you decided to tell your story. Look forward to the next segment. Fondly, Ann S

  47. Awhhh…..did you have to leave us there? Susan, I used to be on a site with the Victoria magazine many years ago and you would or perhaps would not, believe the negative people who came in. On the good side, a group of ladies and myself went private and have been together for thirteen years.
    I have never been on RMS, I happened on your site a couple of years ago, through another blog. I was instantly enchanted with everything you do, a kindred spirit, so you are always my first check in the morning when I have my tea. Your porch sold it for me as it did for many people.
    Now……what happened??? :)

  48. Susan,
    I have NO IDEA what Rate My Space is all about…before my blogging time! BUT…I am so enjoying hearing how you got started in the Land of Blog! Of course, I’ll be back to get…”The Rest of the Story”! So~o~o glad you’ve stayed with blogging and that you and I have become “blogging friends”! Thanks!

  49. Tracy Bayle says:

    I am so into this story! I want to blog soooo badly, but I have no idea where to start. HTML codes, buttons, wordpress…oh it all just turns my brain to’s like greek! I want to know how in the world you figured it all out! Every day I determine myself to do this, yet…I’ve yet to start. HELP!!!!!

    • Tracy, when I started blogging, it was a much simpler bloggy world back then. Most of us were on Blogger and it is so easy to start a blog there. It truly is. You just gradually each day make small improvements to your blog, just like you do when decorating a home. One day you add a blog button, another day you spiffy up your header picture, etc… Don’t let it overwhelm you…just take it one small step at the time.

      • Tracy Bayle says:

        Susan, I dont know what blogger is ( I am truly dumb about computer lingo, but I do write and decorate well and my head is going to explode one day with all the ideas waiting to be told! My sister has a website and she is so overwhelmed with learning it all and it’s just crazy. I dont know how she does it. When did you begin to see an income from yours? Is the income mainly through google ad sense? Sorry to have soo many questions, but I sure appreciate the help! Be glad you dont’ live next door to me…i would never leave you alone!

  50. Susan, I’m so thankful I came across your blog a few months ago while in Google-land. I too am a huge fan of your’s for soooo many reasons. I think your tablescapes are beautiful; your photography is wonderful; it’s such a pleasure to go on the captivating home tours of your own gorgeous rooms and all the other homes you provide; your tutorials are always so informative and you’re so generous in sharing your photography, computer and blogging tips (I’ve put so many of those in my “Reading List” I’ve lost count! :-))and its inspiring to be exposed to someone who has such an an insatiable appetite for learning! But, I mostly admire you as a person for your kind, brave, gentle and giving spirit which comes across so clearly. When I first discovered your blog, I somehow found a post you did about your “double life” (?) where you told a bit about the work you were still doing at the time you first started blogging – you gained my instant respect in that blog alone, and it has only been reinforced with every read. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for living life, and not letting the trolls get you down. BTY, I didn’t bookmark that “double life” post and later, couldn’t find it again- could you tell me, if you know which one I’m referring to, how to find it again, and if you have any other posts about your “previous life” :-) in, is it right to say, “social services”? I know your service was a huge blessing to many folks then and I’ve thanked the Lord that He was watching out for you then and brought you to Blogland where you continue to be such a blessing to us all! Thanks again! Margie

    • Margie, thank you sooo much! You are so kind to write such a lovely comment! Here’s a link to that post…it’s now under the “Fave Posts” category since it received a good many comments when it was posted. It’s on the second page under that category and here’s the link:
      Margie, thank you again…you are a blessing to me by just being here reading each day! Appreciate you!

      • Thanks for the link, Susan. Looking forward to reading that post again and being inspired. :-) Also, will be praying for your “eye decision”… we need you to take care of yourself! :-)

  51. says:

    I can’t wait to find out what you said to the troll! Yours is the first blog I read each morning…..xoxo

  52. you cannot leave us hanging. . .

  53. I loved reading this. I did the same things as you. I fell across a blog and got interested, but didn’t have a clue on how to do a blog. I started a blog and it sat for a year before I took it anywhere. In the meantime I discovered HGTV/RMS in 2009 in the garden/patio section. (GreatLakesLadyLiz) That wasn’t too bad of an area, but when I ventured into the decorating area like living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms- boy did it get rough! For the most part a lot of people were every kind but there were those “trolls” as you call them. After a while you get tired of that kind of abuse so you move on! Anyway, now you’ve got my interest peaked and I have to know the rest of the story!!

    • Liz, it wasn’t that bad in the early days but once the trolls discovered RMS, it was definitely not the same. I guess I’m glad I began blogging when I did since it sounds like it’s gotten ever worse.

  54. Great story! I also started out at Rate My Space and occasionally got my feelings hurt by people who thought they were “helping” me by insulting my decorating decisions. I never responded either because I had seen those wars that go on with the trolls when someone attempts to fight back. Why can’t people just be nice…how hard is that?!! Can’t wait to hear the rest of your story!

  55. Dear Susan,
    I just would like to tell you how much I enjoy your blog! You are such a professional and inspiring person. I can’t wait to read your posts. Please continue delighting us with all your awesome tablescapes and decorating ideas. I just started blogging in Jan. 2012. I am still trying every day to update and critique my blog. I knew nothing at all when I started and have learned quite a bit, but it is a challenge. I am trying to find someone locally to help me with getting more traffic, etc. (my skills are very limited may I say). Keep up the good work! I am following you on my blog.

  56. It seems so many of us started with RMS and were visited by the “trolls”! RMS is where I met Debbie (Debbiedoos) and Kim (Savvy Southern Style) they were the ones who inspired me to start my blog. Heading over to read Part2.

  57. Trolls! What a perfect name for them. I was hit hard over there and that is why I left it and started blogging.

    • Sorry you experienced that, Kim. I just try to tell myself that there must be some pretty awful things going on in their life if they feel the need to dump on someone else in that way. I know this may sound weird, but when I get a really ugly comment, I say a quick prayer for the person who wrote it…because you know they must be in a lot of pain to write something so awful to another person.

  58. Hi there Susan,
    I love this story and can’t wait for the rest! Trolls are such meanies, I’ve actually had a few unfortunate dealings with them on my own blog! They can be miserable little creatures but like you, I just ignored their awful blathering and hit the “delete” button on their comment which sadly you couldn’t do on RMS. Oh and I will say, I have never been on RMS but I’ve heard others say that it could get pretty nasty at times…jeepers anyhow isn’t it supposed to be a pleasant experience!
    Anyway…just wanted let you know how I found BNOTP and have enjoyed it ever since. It was quite by accident one day way back when your header looked like a magazine cover with beautiful photos across the page and when I saw it and started reading, I honestly thought it WAS some sort of commercial online home decorating magazine! Really its so lovely and so inspiring I sat there for 3 hours pouring over past posts’ and still hadn’t gone through all there was to see! I also found out there was someone else out there that loved their home, dishes and setting a beautiful table and I’ve been hooked ever since! Though I don’t often get to sit and read as much as I used to, I still consider BNOTP one of my all time favorite blogs and I’m glad you’re still here!
    Most sincerely,

    • Terry, if you have trolls bothering you, I know they would bother anyone. You are as nice a person as they come! Yes, love that delete button. :) That’s so neat how you found BNOTP. Thanks for that huge compliment! I sort of missing putting pics in the header. Maybe I’ll go back to that one dat, if/when I get bored with my seasonal headers. Thanks, Terry!

  59. Susan, I have enjoyed your blog for a couple of years now and your beautiful porch and home. Enjoyed your story of your job with the seamier side of life. No wonder your home is a beautiful and relaxing retreat. Loved the story of your cat and how he put his arms around when you found him. Love how he sleeps under your computer on the desk. Keep up your entertaining writing and I am going to check you out on Pinterest when I have a lot of time. Whenever I go there I seem to spend (waste) hours.

  60. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I just read through the comments on this post. What a wonderful group of supportive people. I just started my own blog and have learned a lot from BNOTP. Thursdays are my favorite day of the week – always look forward to your tablescape posts.

  61. oh,,now I’m afraid I’ll miss your post when you continue it. I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story. I was sent your blog address by a friend that thought I would enjoy it. Yes, I do and have followed it even when I wasn’t blogging. It took me awhile to decide to blog but now I am enjoying it. You have the best pictures and I love seeing you creativity. I’d love to have tea with you on your porch. (I’d love to own a porch like that)

    Sylvia @agrandmasblessings

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