I Am More Than Pretty Pictures

I have written about decorating and gardening. But I’ve come to realize that I am more than pretty pictures on the wall. So I am going to delve deeper into women’s issues.

The Tragedy Of Robin Williams’ Suicide:

When Robin Williams ended his life and suffering just a few days ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. Let’s just say a light bulb flashed in my head. 

I have been blogging for nearly six years. During that time I have sometimes written about subjects so raw and exposed that I’m sure it made some of you cringe. 

But the thing is, I was still tiptoeing around you because I was afraid of your judgment. 

I think all bloggers feel that way to an extent. 

Being True To Myself:

But I’ve decided that I am not going to tiptoe anymore. I am going to write about all kinds of subjects.

The topic may not pertain to you. But maybe they pertain to someone close to you.

If not, just skip reading my post that day.

My goal since leaving Texas in 2011 was to get myself situated in a good place and then help other women. Knowledge is everything. And even if my knowledge came from getting through a divorce, still it is a road map that might help you.

So I will write about the good stuff and the bad stuff. And hope you understand that this blog will never really fit into a “genre.”

Deviating From My Norm:

I often show decorating and frugal tips and such, but I also have other things to write. But often I don’t because I am uncertain of your reaction.  

After I experienced the “moment” in 2011, when I accidentally published a post that was meant for my eyes only, I should have realized I am meant to do more than entertain you with pretty things. 

And so I am going to take the lid off instead of having it tremble over the boiling pot. 

I am going to try to be myself every single day. Because as the brilliant entertainer Robin Williams has proven, life is too short not to be who you truly are.




  1. I love you and your blog. Your honestly is refreshing., it's like a breath of fresh air! I can SOOO relate. You handle the sensetive issues with dignity and grace while being honest. It's a tough thing to do but you do it well.

  2. Absolutely so right, life is just too short for this nonsense of trying to please and bend ourselves like pretzels for others. I know this is in my heart and head and yet I'm a complete chicken. I think you are taking a courageous and wondrous step, a profound act of self love and care.

    I've been told my whole life that I'm high strung and too intense. I wear my heart on my sleeve and everyone seems to be uncomfortable with that. So I struggle to sit on myself and fit in (still at 60)! So ridiculous and damaging and an immense waste of this short life. I watched people vanished when I wrote about my grief on my blog. I've barely blogged of late because I feel that I can't be me on my own blog.

    I look forward to following along on your journey and thank you for your inspiration to do the same.

  3. Bravo Brenda..I always thought you were honest and spoke your mind..I can't wait to see what comes next..lol..I was very interested in comments made yesterday..I did not add mine because of hurtful nasty comments "just pray to Jesus and everything will be alright".."Committing suicide is a selfish act"..cowards..really..when is the last time you did it and what gives you the right to judge those who did..this is why it is hard for me to talk to people anymore Brenda..

  4. I have only just recently stumbled upon your wonderful little blog and I am so happy that I have. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I feel as if we are sitting in your cozy wee cottage and talking over a nice cuppa. Thank you so much!

  5. Each of us are only on this earth for what amounts to a blink of an eye. If we are struggling to be ourselves, if we hold back our true feelings and emotions, at best our time on earth is ill spent. At worst, the eggs hit the ceiling. I've never imagined you as holding back. That's one of the things I love about your blog. I can only begin to imagine how much MORE compelling it will be if you don't hold back.

    I think this change will be good not only for your readers, but for you. As for losing readership, I believe the opposite will happen. But in the scheme of things, it doesn't really matter.

  6. You be you and I'll be here reading! And if I don't always agree with you, oh well. That's what makes life fun and interesting. How boring it would be if we were all the same and always agreed on everything!

  7. Thank you for the very kind compliment. I think Robin Williams was laughing on the outside, but crying on the inside for a very long time. And the idea that he probably lived like that makes me want to sit down and sob.

  8. Your honesty is refreshing & hopefully will help others to open up in a positive way. Robin William's death has been very sobering…I crawled out of my black hole some years ago. Most people have no idea that I was depressesd because I am known as such a jolly person…I hid the 'real' me. But people need to see how things really are. I get your emails a day late, but I always read them. The beautiful pictures enhance your beautiful writing.

  9. Brenda, this year I had to buy a new laptop as my old one was on it's last legs. I was too engrossed in learning the dreaded Windows 8 to copy over my old favorites to my new machine. Instead I found new favorites and one of those was your site. I don't always have time to check the blogs I enjoy, but I make a point of reading yours even if it is a couple of days later. I commend you on your bravery and honesty in being a "trailblazer" in blogland. I agree with all the comments in the previous posts and it renews my faith in people when I see that so many folks are supportive of you and will continue to follow you as will I.

  10. Brenda…I tried to comment on your post last weekend when Nancy wrote that beautiful tribute that you shared on your blog. it was a long, straight-from-my-heart comment that I did on my IPhone and poof! It never posted. As you have opened up about your divorce and the realities of being blind sided by someone you thought loved you, I saw so many comments, so many women opening up. It was astounding. To read this today, I think you will be a catalyst for many more ladies baring their souls, because it's OKAY! I'm trying to write more about my feelings on my own blog. I don't like to delve into the past. It ain't all that grand and I save it for nights because I SO love to toss and turn and and relive things and cry and finally fall asleep at 5:00 a.m.

    I'll be by your side.

    Jane xx

    1. If I toss and turn and relive things and cry and finally fall asleep at 5:00 a.m., I am absolutely not fit to be around.

  11. I don't believe the mad exodus will occur, and those that do leave, good riddance. 🙂 If we cannot be ourselves, then we shouldn't be anything at all. Your blogs are wonderful, the pictures are beautiful, and you are free to share what you want. I know I will continue to stop by. 🙂

  12. You are the most courageous person I have ever 'known'. The absolute bravest. I've always, always deeply admired you. And you've saved me in so many ways. Now I'm all teary eyed!

    Thinking of you…

    1. Well Gayle, you have helped me in many ways. You've helped me find new blogs when I'm simply so bogged down I don't have as much time to look. I have emails I feel I must answer, calls I feel I must make because someone gave me their number and wrote: I need to talk. And I have learned from you much about life and courage.

  13. I'm glad you can be you! You are an interesting lady with lots to share. I have read your blog for several years. Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes not. I like to learn from people who have different opinions than I do. I respect your opinions and try to understand where you may be coming from. It takes all kinds of flowers to make a pretty garden don't you think? I like more of your blog than just the pretty pictures!

    1. Well said! Yes, it does take all kinds of flowers to make a pretty garden. With only one kind of flower, it would be so boring. Pretty yes, but no variety. I think everyone likes variety.

  14. Brenda, I always thought yu were bring you. I couldn't tell you were hiding behind your beautiful pictures. I am sorry you felt like you had to hide. I look forward to meeting you.

    1. Well, I won't say I was "hiding," for I've been very forthright about many things. So you're right; I was being me. But I felt that I was expected to show many projects and room redos (which I can't stop doing anyway), and I just wanted to add a bit more to the stew. I see blogs where a brand new project is shown most everyday, and I wonder when they sleep! I can't do a project or tutorial every single day. I would wear myself out.

  15. I am looking forward to you stomping your feet rather than tiptoeing! As one lady already mentioned, your blog is the first one she goes to and that is the case with me too. Pretty pictures, projects, seeing other people's homes is entertaining. Throwing in some real life issues and discussions among those pictures and that makes for a very interesting blog. You may be starting a new style of blog, "Décor, Projects and Therapy"! Your blog is always a breath of fresh air!

  16. I salute you for your courage. But, the thing is, we are all ourselves every single day, even on the days when we feel scared, or worried about what others think, and when we don't come out and say exactly what we are thinking or feeling. The scared person is us, every bit as much as the brave person is us. Sure, we need to have courage, but we also need to love ourselves and accept ourselves even when we are not feeling so courageous. (A very difficult lesson I've been working on over the years.)

    Brenda, every day that you wanted to post something you were thinking and feeling, but you held back, you were still being yourself. That was you, on that day. And you were a darned good you, even then.

    You say you are more than pretty pictures. True, but your photos are more than pretty pictures too. If you think that you might have copped out by giving us a photo of a flower, or a coffee bar, on a day you were wanting to give us some personal thoughts, I would say you might look at it a different way. Your photos, whether they show a horse grazing in the fall sunlight, or a collection of flea market objects on a side table, all speak eloquently. I believe that the photos you post on any given day reveal something of how you are thinking and feeling on that day. They do the talking for you.

    You are the words, and the thoughts, and the pretty pictures. It's all you on this blog, every day, no matter what. I say, thanks!

    1. Well, thank you for clarifying that for me! I still plan to always, in every post, add my photographs. Because yes, they are part of who I am just as much as my words are. You will never find me without a pretty photo or two. (Or three, or ten). Because I love photography so very much.

    1. People who know me out "here" know me to be oftentimes brutally honest. I try to rein myself in here because I know sometimes that is hard to handle, and I would hate to offend. So at least here, I can type and read it and see if I think I've gone too far. And remedy it before I hit Publish. And hope I did the right thing!

  17. Good for you, Brenda! I admire your courage. We too often hide behind masks. After my dad died, I started a journey to be more real. I can honestly say after 20 years, I am more often than not, me. You go, girl!

    1. There's nothing wrong with pretty things, tablescapes, vignettes, renovating of rooms. But we can do it all, and lose nothing in the process. But add reality to the bouquets of flowers.

  18. You are an amazing photographer…and you have the cutest decorating ideas. But I come here…everyday…because of who you are. You are authentic! And that is hard to come by today. So continue being yourself…you are a many faceted woman…and I'm sure there are many people out there who benefit by your honesty! 😉

    1. Well, I'll never stop being a photographer, so you are just flat stuck with pretty pictures. Even if they're in posts that focus on topics that are not as pretty. A bit odd, perhaps. But what the hey!

    1. I just think we need to gather round the "table" and help one another. I have learned so much from all of you. Everyone has different experiences and they bring to the topics help we might not otherwise know about.

  19. oops sorry had to delete my other post as it had way too many typos!

    anyway heres what I wanted to say…

    Brenda, I'm going to pour myself a strong cuppa and get ready to read the real you! Glad someone is willing to keep things real at last!
    ps nothing wrong with the odd nice pic either, but life's real issues really need a voice!

  20. Sorry I'm late, I was at the specialist again today. I am excited to know you won't be tiptoeing! I want topics most won't discuss, sometimes I find blogland boring lately, everything looking so pretty, perfect mcmansions etc. I want raw, honest, open communications going on. So you'll never lose me my friend. I'm here for the long haul. As someone else said, you go girl!
    When you do these kinds of post you, unknowingly, help me to "open" up in a atmosphere I feel safe in!. Oh gosh, we could get in trouble if it's about politics :-{

  21. I so enjoy your blog and thank you being so honest. It is refreshing. I can't wait to read it every day! You will not lose me as a reader. In my life, I have either experienced or heard about many situations. I wish I could respond to some of your posts but can't because there are those that would judge my thoughts. Maybe I will email you from time to time. You aren't alone. We are here for you! God bless you!

    1. The world is many things. Right now it isn't too pretty with how some are attacking Robin Williams' poor daughter. Why are people so cruel?

  22. Brenda, I love the pretty pictures you publish, but I have always read your blog for your words. You are the best and most thoughtful, and thought provoking writer I have found in blogland.

  23. Well said, Brenda. I totally agree with you. Honesty is the best policy, as long as it is not hurtful, and YOU are never hurtful. It is one of the reasons I read your blog regularly, because I know here I will find a sincere soul willing to be true to herself. And I prefer that anyday over fluff. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I like fluff and prettiness, but too much starts getting a bit superficial. I can't read the blogs where the houses are mansions with acres of land and unlimited financial resources to buy whatever latest trinket is in style. Most of us do not live that way. So thanks again for being real.

  24. Brenda: I don't always comment…my fault never yours, but I read your blog and it makes me smile, laugh, cry, or send you prayers…I always get something good from reading your blog, and I always hope you do too! Write as you feel the urge to, not as you think others expect you to. God Bless you!!

  25. Hooray! Hooray for you Brenda!……I have been reading your blog since you were in Texas and have greatly admired your honest straightforward posts where you shared your thoughts and experiences……..At age 73 I have seen enough hypocrisy and contrived false images to last a 1000 lifetimes and don't want to waste my time with that sort of thing. Bless you and thank you for speaking out in today and yesterday's posts……the ignorant, vicious cruelty that has surfaced about Robin Williams tells me that this attitude is by choice and truly believed and reflects the character of the speaker…… very difficult to tolerate those who believe their cruel attitude and ugly behavior is valid…….the lack of compassion and empathy for someone's pain is telling……..at my age, I agree with your quote from a Doctor that some people don't want to learn or know anything different ……..I have nothing but praise for your decision and hope you will "tell it like it is!"……sending along .my sincere admiration …….Dianne

  26. I tire easily of blogs that are nothing but pretty pictures. Always have. I prefer to know the blogger as much as they want to show themselves.

  27. Amen Brenda. I'm in pain 24/7 and if my friends , family, and doctor's don't get it well to heck with them. My daughter in law announced I can't keep my grandson, 8, anymore. So be it!! I'm tired of judgements made on me. I am me. I am not pretty. I cannot work. I am in pain. I will lay here and relax and read blogs and post on Pinterest because for now it is the only thing that relaxes me. Do not judge people by their problems…be it pain…depression… or what ever. Sometimes it is just getting thru another day. Life is so hard. Thanks Brenda. Had to speak my mind on myself. I am all I can be. Robin Williams..though we are all in great shock….was being himself in his pain. Prayers to his family.

  28. Here Here! I support that. I would love to read more blogs that are "real". I support you in whatever you want to blog about. I have no doubt that it will be entertaining! Your post yesterday was difficult to read. I read everyone's comments and they were so sad. I just heard today that Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinsons disease. Noone knew. His wife made a statement today about it. I suspect that played a role in his suicide.

    1. Oh, well, that's probably the piece of the puzzle we didn't have a few days ago. That's a terrible disease. And he probably thought he couldn't possibly battle them both at the same time. His death has had a profound affect on me. And I think on most everyone. He was the person who made everyone smile and laugh. Maybe he couldn't smile and laugh for the masses any more.

  29. I sometimes wear the mask. I know how to paint on a pretty smile. It's hard. Recently I have expressed my raw emotions and have been brutally honest about my depression. A few weeks ago a family member copied my blog and used it to hurt me. This is why it's easy to stick our head back in our shell. I deleted my blog, The Upside of Down. I will find it hard to share again. The consequences of things like this are enough to send someone over the edge. I understand Robin Williams.

    1. And that's such a shame. Why do we need enemies? We have relatives to twist the knife. I'm sorry it sent you back into your shell. If I knew who it was I'd slap them silly and tell them if they can't say or do something nice, then don't say or do anything at all.

  30. I have often wondered if the writers of blogs have REAL lives! Is everything at their house always clan and beautiful? Are their holiday always filled with cheer and harmony? Sometimes I sit down at my keyboard and wrestle with myself over a post that is real and true, then I edit and take out the sentences that show I am not perfect. Then I hit the Publish button knowing that my friends and followers are only getting part of the story. Life is not all roses. You are a brave blogger Brenda, I will remain a follower and I will enjoy your reality!

    1. And I've done the same thing. Sometimes I'll write at night, then wait till morning and look at it again. That's when the day is bright and everything a little too real and I edit. And I edit. Taking out things I think might be too revealing. Or too straightforward. Or might offend SOMEONE somehow. Though I can't for the life of me think how. And I'm down to pretty pictures.

    1. You know, before I hurt my ankle, there were other problems that got my attention. Things I moaned about. Then I hurt it and have to wear a steel boot. All my pretty shoes sat there collecting dust. So I got those Dollar Store plastic shoe boxes so I didn't have to also dust my shoes. And those things that bothered me before, I now think back on it, and tell myself, you didn't know what difficult was. Those are the layers of life.

  31. I've been reading your blog for a few years, I might have commented once or twice. I look forward to each of your posts. I think this is your blog and you should be true to yourself. My mantra since going through breast cancer in 2005 is, be who you are, say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. I love Doctor Seuse! Do what you do best, Brenda, we here for you. ;-> Toni Anne

    1. I loved Leave It To Beaver. June Cleaver was a beautiful woman. She was always impeccably made up. But that was then and this is now.

    1. That's right. There's a place for decorating and cooking and crafting and sewing and views on life and world issues. A potpourri of topics.

  32. Brenda I've enjoyed your blog for some time but never commented. I love your new place. Your writing is beautiful.
    Be you Brenda. God only made one of you. You won't scare me off. You have been through a lot. Whatever you need to write about be you. You are a beautiful person inside and out. Keep on being the beautiful you that you are. Blessings,love and prayers to you. Becky

  33. Good for you Brenda. I think keeping things to ourselves can be destructive. None of us really knows each other in blog land, but there is definitely a kinship.

  34. You are simply amazing, willing to open your heart to topics that so many people just want to sweep under the rug, not discuss, not deal with still. Heck, let the other family members cope w/it. I just wrote down this wonderful quote late week that seems so fitting to me at times: Not my circus, not my monkeys! So you let those monkeys out to play!

    1. Nothing wrong with pretty things; we all like them. But that's not the totality of life. And while some bloggers aren't comfortable with writing about bigger issues, that is why we have all kinds of bloggers. Variety is good!

  35. You are a brave woman, Brenda. While I love looking at pretty pictures of homes, and frugal living tips, and gardens, I read your blog because you are a truthful and interesting person. There are other blogs I look at, but yours is first, and if I miss a day, I am thinking of you. I used to tell my girls that women were more than their looks. Your blog is more than pretty pictures, and that is why I read yours.

  36. Brenda,
    I have visited your blog before- months ago. Not sure how I found it. I just subscribed today. As far losing readers goes, yes, you may lose a few. But, you gained me! 🙂
    If I could, I would give you a big hug and a glass of sweet ice tea.

    1. Well Sylvia, I would take you up on that. I adore sweet tea. I appreciate your subscribing. I am so happy to have gained you!

    2. Brenda,
      I've been a reader for several years–since your TX days. You're stuck with me : ) and have my support. As you already have an offering of sweet tea, I'll bring treats for the doggies.

  37. And you my friend, I am so glad you are here with me! We may have to butt some heads together. If you read all of my comments from yesterday's post, you will see that most were kind. But some were not. And I'm gonna call it as I see it. You do the same.

  38. I could have easily made this post today and I still may, just my version of it of course..

    I' going to be as kind as possible by adding a small disclaimer to my sidebar so folks will clearly understand that while MOST comments are appreciated, that doesnt mean ALL are. I'll also be adding the Comment will appear at the discretion of the blog owner– that be ME:)

    lol.. truthfully I am sorta anticipating a mass exodus and should such occur I will accept that too. My blog- my feelings- my safe place to land and also safe for others who want ot need to, to comment without fear of judgement or worse being beat up in their already fragile condition by those who may choose to pass thru and tell them to PRAY their illness Away`!. umm I may ust copy paste this and use it as my post 🙂

    thanks again for being YOU, I know the road was bumpy but I'm happy to are HERE.

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