My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

A Fresh start

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I am hoping that this is the case.

December has been a blur and I must admit on more than one occasion...I considered deleting my blog altogether.

I had gotten out of the habit of  turning on my laptop each morning. I felt overwhelmed and didn't think I wanted to share this.
As things started to slow down...I began to miss my friends.
I weighed it out and realized that I blog because of these friendships!
Sharing our ideas and projects...

Giving and receiving an encouraging word. Celebrating the good times and sometimes even the bad.

I feel so blessed to have met some wonderful friends through blogging!

So Thank you!
All of you who take the time to stop by!

It is the beginning of a brand New Year~a fresh start to all things.

We are taking some much needed time away from the renovation but will pick up where we left off just before the Holidays in a few weeks. We made some serious progress and this is probably why we are so worn thin in places.

I have so much to share with you and will.... just as soon as I catch my breath again.
I do hope everyone has a fabulous New Years . Whether you stay home and bring in the New year in a quiet fashion or go out...Enjoy!

All but one of my images were taken from Pinterest! I just love this site!

*New year


  1. So happy you are back. I love to stop by and see what you are up to:)
    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!
    ~Debra xxx

  2. Happy New Year!
    Looking forward to sharing through our blogs in the new year...
    Laura :)

  3. Wishing you the best in the New Year and also looking forward to what you have to share with us:-)


  4. Thanks for sharing your heart - I hope that the New Year will bring you rest, renewal and renovation progress! Happy New Year!

  5. I have been feeling the very same things the past several weeks. It was so nice to take a break but after thinking about it, I redesigned my blog and decided a fresh start was just what I needed.
    Relax as much as you can ... it is much deserved. xo

    Happy New Year to you!

  6. Welcome back! You know that I missed you!

    I too, have had a few discouraging thoughts about blogging. It's so important not to let it take over your life.

    The beauty about it, is that the door is always open.

    I saw you on Pinterest yesterday. I wanted to comment...(Friends know when friends need space!)

    I rationed your candle so I could light it on Christmas morning...
    (I hope that you are giggling about that, I am}

    We were blessed to have celebrated a perfect Christmas. I prayed that all went well for you and your family too!

    Ease in, Donna. The two of you have been working your fingers to the bone. I am pleased to hear that you are taking a much needed break.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Hi Donna,

    Hello! So nice to see a post from you! :) I understand how you feel completely in regards to the blogging...this New Year is bringing on some new but exciting changes, and I wonder if I will find the time to blog as much as I'd like. But like Lynne said above, the "door is always open!" :) Can't wait to hear about your renovation projects. But do take the time for yourself - it's important to do so, esp when one feels run down!!!

    Well I hope you have a wonderful New Year - love those images. I need to get a Pinterest account - I sure am missing out on alot. I just think that if I do join, I might spend even more time online! lol Happy New Year to you!!!


  8. I am so happy you have decided to stay with blogging as I am so inspired by what you share with us. Rest and renew your spirit my dear. Champagne Hugs...

  9. Have an absolutely wonderful New Year!

  10. Donna, I'm so glad you did not choose to delete your blog. You have so much to share, and it would be a shame to tuck it away from the blog world. That being said, I can certainly understand the need to get of the merry-go-round of the blogging world. Taking breaks is a great idea.

    Wishing you a Wonderful New Year!

  11. Breaks are good. Breaks are needed. They are healthy. Happy New Year. May all your dreams and wishes come true.

  12. Your blog is lovely and so inspiring! I'm so happy you decided to come back! Wishing you a new year full of many blessings!

  13. So happy you stayed with your blog. I read you every time you post. I just don't comment on blogs a lot due to time.
    But yours is beautiful and hope you continue.
    Have a Happy New Year.

  14. Donna...delete your blog? That is not an option! glad you realized that wasn't a good would be so missed and your blog is wonderful and you know when you do have something to say or share, we are all here happy to share it with you! There is no timetable or right or wrong, some people blog every single day and some once a week, I used to post every day, and then its 3-4 times a week and it will be less as we start to move but the beauty is it is OUR blog and we can decide when we post.
    SO happy you are going to keep your blog, just know I will be here with open arms when you do decide to post whatever you want! Wish you the happiesst and healthiest New Year possible. Cheers to a wonderful 2012!!

  15. Hey Sweet
    Glad to see you here... of course I knew you were alive and well. But deleting... ha... not without permission :)
    Looking forward to seeing you and all the work you and hubs have done since I last was there.
    Talked to Tot and it's a good to go on Wed. this is going to be sooo much fun!
    Take it easy on the bubbly tonight, I already have my cork popped... we are having lobster tail, woohoo!

  16. So glad to see your post...I am new and have loved your blog from the day I discovered it. Create for you but share with us. Thank you for your openess. 2011 was a tough year for a lot of people including us. I hope and pray 2012 will bring us all closer to our dreams. Stay healthy, Di

  17. Hi Donna, I never figured on you thinking of ending this wonderful blog you have created...I figured you were so busy doing all the grunt work on the renovation in time for the kids and the can be on the back burner while the demands are met, but I would miss it very much if you packed it in. So every now and again, throw us a bone with real images of what stages you are at, even if small, as I am always interested in what is going on in the land of tinker. Happy New Year to you friend!!

  18. You KNOW that I missed you too Donna so I am very thankful that you are staying!! I feel as you do some days and we just need to step back, take a break and then jump back in. :) Happy New Year dear friend!

  19. so glad you're still around. happiest of new years! from one donna to another...

  20. Please don't stop blogging. You are one of my favorites to visit and I love watching your progress on the renovation.
    We all have times when life gets overwhelming. I've had a few myself this year when I was really depressed from being taken off a medication and then again when my Father died from a car accident. Both times I took a break, as should be. But I'm glad I came back when I was refreshed. We all understand abscesses.
    Looking forward to seeing you next year. Happy New Year.

  21. Dear Donna ~ So glad you decided to keep blogging. We all have burnouts at times and just need to take breaks.

    May 2012 be filled with many blessings for you.


  22. I am so grateful that you did not delete your blog. You have a romantic style that makes me feel comfortable and happy. So glad that you are blogging and creating.

    Wishing you an exciting 2012.

  23. Een heel goed en vooral gezond 2012 !!!.......

    Bedankt voor je liefde en steun van het afgelopen jaar......

    Het voelde als een warme deken......

    Liefs van

    ★ ┊    ★ ┊┊   ★ ┊  ★ ┊    
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊ ┊     ★┊  
      ★ ┊    ★ ┊ ★ ┊ ★ ┊
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊    ★┊ ☆ ☆ 
    ☆┊   ☆   ★ ┊    ★ ┊┊ ☆   
    ┊   ┊ ☆   ☆┊    ★┊★┊ ★
    ☆┊ ☆   ★ ┊    ★ ┊ ☆

    A very good and healthy 2012 !!!......

    Thank you for love and support of the past year........

    It felt like a warm blanket..........

    Love from

  24. I am glad to see you posting. I so understand "catching one's breath". I think some of us don't do that often enough- Blessings to you in the New Year- xo Diana

  25. Happy New Year Donna.. I look forward to following your journey through 2012!


  26. Gotta tell you girl...some of your projects make me catch my breath...or take it away.
    I've been feeling the same way and sometimes just stepping away for a bit helps. In fact...I may just have to try that again.
    Much love to you and wishes for the happiest of new years.
    P.S. Does drinking champagne while reading blogs qualify as bar hopping? It's the closest I'm gonna get to it if it does!

  27. Hello Donna and Happy New Year!

    I am here tonight to wish you a joyous and blessed New Year.
    Rest up, enjoy your vast accomplishments and give your heart and mind a rest. We're all still here. <3

  28. Glad to see you back. Being very busy like that will burn you out and we understand. Can't wait to see the progress you made.

    Happy New Year

  29. Although many write articles, books, & blog posts about how to blog, the only rule that truly applies is to blog when you wish, about whatever you wish! That's what keeps our blogs unique and special.
    Love yours. Take care.

  30. Happy New Year! And I'm so glad you decided to stick around. I know exactly what you mean, sometimes it's overwhelming, but I find when you relax about it is, when the pressure eases off. Looking forward to seeing more lovely pics soon - also, will follow you on Pinterest; my favourite site too!
    B x

  31. I honestly don't know how you kept up the pace. I know I can't and have come to that realization awhile ago. I do slip up now and then and take on more then I should. We bloggers all understand the stress of trying to do it all.
    Enjoy your rest!

    I wish you all the best!!!

    Happy New Year Donna!


  32. I can understand why you've been feeling over whelmed! My goodness I can't believe all the things your involved in. As I've grown a bit older, shall we say, I've learned to appreciate the slower pace to winter. I need shorter days to recharge. I LOVE your blog. Take care of yourself, we all realize how many candles you have burning.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  33. We've missed you Donna. Hope your Christmas was the best. Also wish you a great new year. xo, Susie

  34. Happy new year , my dear friend !!
    Je continue en français et j'espère que votre période de fêtes a été merveilleuse !!!
    J'adore les photos de votre billet !!
    Je souhaite que votre année 2012 Soit la plus belle et la plus heureuse pour vous et les votres !
    Mignonne, allons voir ..

  35. So glad you are back! I love your posts and look forward to seeing the progress on your home! Happy New Year!

  36. Glad you are back!
    I have taken leave, myself, from my blog, due to the death of my precious mother in December.
    It is hard to get started back.........Don't know why!
    Love your blog!!!

  37. welcome back... happy new year to you!

  38. I've missed your blogging. I check daily to see what is new at your house. Rest, but don't stop. You have followers, maybe even groupies!!!

    from da Holler in Va

  39. Glad your not leaving the blogging world!! Take it easy for abit,will do you good! x0

  40. Thank you for returning ! I had just found your blog,and loved.Then nothing!Did I save the right blog address?Is my computer messing up?
    Alas no .... But you are a kindred spirit and I am so happy you have chosen to continue! We all have the blues every now and then ,but we never just give up! Right!
    Looking forward to a new year with you.

  41. Love all of these images! It seems like several friends took breaks from blogging during the Holidays. You can't leave though because I need my Tinker House fix atleast quarterly - ha!

  42. I always visit your blog and love it!!! I went through the same thing as you, but actually deleted my blog, now I am starting all over....sigh.........

  43. DEar You,
    this is my first visit on your blog, and thank God, you haven't deleted it§ I've blogging for more than 5 years, and for sure, sometimes you wonder who or what you're doing this for. The answer is "YOU" and...all the "unknown" who read you sometimes. you can't measure what influence you have on your readers, but you have one, you bring them something exceptionnal, and that's what counts.
    Sorry for my poor english...
    Blanche from

  44. I think we all want to quit blogging from time to time, just this morning I told a friend I don't think I will post again, but like you said we have friends out there in blog land. I just need a couple days break

    i have bulbs waiting to bloom also. I would miss your beautiful blog


  45. Hey sweet Donna, just wanted you to know I borrowed a few of your photos of Tinker House last winter for my blog post this evening! xxoo!

  46. Noooooo! Don't delete your blog! I would miss it so much! Ok, i know that's totally selfish of me, but whatever... hate me for being selfish...
    I do understand that it takes alot of time, and sometimes it seems like you have nothing to say or share, and it all gets overwhelming... i feel that way too, and sometimes i think about my blog "this is stupid, no one wants to hear about my life"...
    but i keep going, not sure why, just seems like i should....
    So, i hope you take a break when you need it, and then come back to us... well at least to egocentric selfish me!


  47. Hi Donna,
    I have gone many day this past 2 months and have only checked my e-mails once a week. Sometimes the computer and getting on it stresses me out to the point that I hate the look of it. I find that the longer I'm away, the more I want to be away, if you know what I mean.
    That being said..if you were to delete your blog I would be there to kick you in the hiney. and I wouldn't be the only one! Even though I don't get here as often as I should, I think about you at least once a day and think I wonder what my Donna is doing today.
    Wasn't the feature of Rebecca's home beauty in RC? I know how much you helped with that, so it must have been awesome for you to see it in print. You are the kind of friend we all feel blessed to have. Just knowing I call call anytime and you would welcome me makes me feel blessed. Sometimes I even hear your cute voice in my head...scary huh?
    I am wishing you a wonderful 2012 sweet friend and thanking you here for your dearest friendship.
    I love you,
    sending big hugs your way...

    ps. I hope you and Rebecca had a wonderful time with TOT. It sounds like such a fun thing to do.

  48. WOW...I didn't mean to write a book :-)


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I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné