Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Ten Years of CTB&Me

This was my favorite header...

I type out the number and I know it is true.  For I was there in the beginning.  However, it is still difficult to believe this blog is now ten years old.  How the times have changed.  We had been living in our home less than a year and our elderly kitties, Sasha & Storm, were both alive.  They are now both at rest under the dogwood tree out back and Victoria is the reigning queen.

When I first started blogging, Christopher didn't have his driver's license and I was spending a great deal of time in the role of chauffeur.  He had just begun to take some classes at the Community College to round out what he was learning at home and at the homeschool co-op for graduating high school.  He was involved in fencing a few times a week and we both volunteered at the County library a couple times a month.

Stephanie had three very small children and I believe my son-in-law was still working as a professor.  We kept up through emails... which is how this blog came about.  I have written before that I once sent out an email a couple times a week to my daughter, two friends, and my late brother-in-law who would print it out for my sister to read.

Stephanie suggested I start a blog instead.  You know, one that would be only for family and close friends.  I didn't know what a blog was so she sent me a link to Amy's Humble Musings.  The rest, as they say... is history.

I remember coming up with the name for the blog as I thought of things I love like coffee and books and everything British (especially Tea Time).  Thus, the name... a play on the airline saying "coffee, tea, or me" (was that a 60s movie?).    I couldn't get everything in the title for I also loved writing about the pantry, which is what I did at my previous online gig, and there was not room to say anything about cats.  But both subjects were well covered in the past ten years.

Blogging has brought with it many wonderful memories and cherished friends.  I had written for a preparedness website before and made good friends there (who are still my friends) but blogging made it easier to just... ponder and chat.

Blogging helps writers become better at their craft and bloggers learn to develop a thick skin... although it is never thick enough.  But through the years I had to learn to not let comments bother me or to give up blogging.  More bloggers I have known gave it up due to comments than for any other reason. But mostly blogging is quite wonderful.

Long time readers will know my posts have been shorter and probably less wordy these past couple of months, especially the Saturday posts which require more research... but I'm slowly getting stronger.  Victoria is curled up close to me and I can hear my husband talking to himself in a nearby room.  Some things never change.  ;)

You have blessed me so much with your friendship, which is strong even if we have never met in person.  There are some of you I only stay in contact with once or twice a year and a few whom I email back and forth much more often.  Although do forgive me if I dropped the ball on emails and didn't respond again over the summer.

I'll continue writing as long as I can and as long as I know people are reading.  Blogging has changed tremendously over the past ten years and I am thankful for every comment, as we receive far fewer than we once did.  (Except for my friend, Vee.)  There are so many other places online for competition for those of us who have smaller blogs.  That being those of us who are for the most part, not professional bloggers (Amazon credit doesn't count).

I kept Coffee Tea Books & Me small on purpose and declined opportunities to expand. I want it to be just what it is... a safe place on the Internet for my friends and family.  Albeit a lot more friends then I think Stephanie ever envisioned when she suggest I take up this new thing called a blog.  ;)

37 comments:

La Tea Dah said...

Congratulations on such a long run of blog-awesomeness! I enjoyed this post very much! I've been there since the beginning.

Mama Squirrel said...

Congratulations!

Sallie Borrink said...

You were one of my first blogging friends all those many years ago. I'm so thankful you listened to Stephanie and God brought us together via the internet. :-)

becka said...

Congratulations, Brenda. It has taken a lot of hard work and effort to continue writing on your blog for so many years. Your words have been and continue to be a blessing to many.

Heartshome said...

Congrats on ten years, that's a real accomplishment. I love your blog and am a regular reader. I don't comment much, but I used to have a log for several years and know how nice it is to hear from readers. I'll try to do better!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

So, I think I have been blessed by your blog for most of those ten years, dear Brenda. And I thank you! Oh, yes, I truly thank you for all the inspiration and wisdom and kindness you send out into the world. I know I was reading you while my dear husband was still alive, and this September 23rd will be the ninth anniversary of his death. That is a shock. Things continue to change, nearly from minute to minute. Just now, like you, I am longing for fall, even though I love the longer days. I do not love the hotter days and this has been a difficult summer, as far as weather goes. Still, I will not complain at all, I could not, when I see all the flooding and forest fires. I am sure it takes a lot of your energy to keep up with your blog, and I am so grateful for your dedication to it! Be well, dear friend I have never met except on these cyber pages.

Deanna Rabe said...

I love you and your blog! You are a wonderful writer.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to have discovered your blog several years ago, and consider you a real friend even though we may never meet "on this side." Your writings are such an inspiration to me and I am so glad you are going to continue. It would leave a "big hole" in my week if you were to quit. Keep up the good work. Love and blessings, Sharon D.

Nancy said...

Congratulations on your blog's anniversary. It truly is an oasis of calm I look forward to visiting on the net.
Nancy

Anonymous said...

I echo what Sharon just said. I learned of your blog through Sally Clarkson. I have learned so much from you and been blessed by the words you have shared. You are one of the "Titus 2 women" in my life! And I also think the header you showed with this post is my favorite! So many things in those pictures that I love as well - things that say "home"! -Joy

Kel said...

Yes, Amen,I echo everything Joy said. Happy Anniversary and congratulations, Brenda!!
I'm so thankful for you. Much love and prayers to you, from South Texas :)

Kathy said...

Happy 10 year Blogiversary! Is that a word? Anyway I have enjoyed reading your blog the past few months. I enjoy your pantry posts and pictures of your kitty. Do hope that you will feel better once the weather is cooler.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your ten year blog anniversary!! I love your blog and only wish I would have discovered you earlier. I feel like we're friends, too, even though we've never met. Reading your posts never fails to inspire and can be like a peaceful oasis these days. Thank-you for all the effort you put into it, especially when you don't feel well. I try to comment every week, but celebrated a birthday last week-end and the week flew by! (kind of like the years have!) Praying you feel better and stronger each day and here's to ten more years of blogging!!
Hugs and Blessings,
Laura C. (WA)

Nancy said...

Congratulations on ten years! I can't remember when I started reading your blog, but I do remember that Copper's Wife recommended you. Does she even blog anymore?

There have been many, many times when you have put in to words what I was thinking but couldn't seem to find a way to express myself. Thank you!

Nancy

rebecca said...

Congratulations, Brenda. I've enjoyed my visits to DTB&M over the past few years. I appreciate the connections formed via this venue and though many are moving out and on to alternative forms of communication, I plan to be here quite a while longer myself :)

Sandi said...

How wonderful to have ten years of family history written down. It's like a journal for everyone to read!

Vee said...

Warm congratulations on ten ahhhhmazing years! I have been here since before I began to blog, which was nine years ago. You have taught me so much and made me think so much that surely you saw the smoke rising all the way from there. Sorry about my comments. =/ I am getting fewer than I once did as well, but there is an ebb and flow to this blogging as you so well know. I am beyond glad that you didn't give up when unkind anonymous commenters did what unkind anonymous commenters do. After all this time, Dear One, we know who our friends are.

Carol said...

Dear Brenda: Thank you so very much for indeed being a Titus 2 woman. You are quite a blessing. (MD)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! I don't know if I read your blog 10 years ago...I should go back and see if I remember the posts...but I have been coming here for years. I enjoy it every time. I am so glad you have continued to blog. You have become part of all of our lives.
I don't know how I started reading you? Was it through Coopers Wife? Does anyone know anything new about her? I pray they are all well. Her blog went silent not too long after they redid the kitchen and her daughter married. My daughter wonders too. I had no idea she read Cooper's Wife till she asked me where is she?? LOL.

So many times your Sunday post or others have felt so personal to me. They meant so much and filled in just what I seemed to be needing when I read them.

Speaking of Amy... Is she blogging under a different blog name now? I keep checking Humble Musings and she stopped blogging then one day up came a new post but that has been forever ago. Does anyone know how they are?? You would be GREATLY missed if you stopped blogging. Although we all know if you ever should come to a point that you feel you should stop we will all understand. Sad though. :) Sarah

Jane said...

Ten years! My goodness, that's a long run! So happy to have found you some years back! Your blog has always been a favorite - maybe because I,too, love coffee, tea, books, cats, and more!
I do hope you'll be able to continue blogging for a long, long time!
Best, Jane

Keri said...

I'm so happy that I've been a reader for the past few years of this decade-old blog! I always enjoy your thoughts and your photos. Please don't stop posting! :-)

Regarding needing a thick skin...I've kept a private blog -- more like an online journal open to only a few family members and friends -- for ten years. Many times I've considered writing a public blog instead of, or even in addition to, the private one, but at this point my skin is so thin that I'm afraid it wouldn't last long...that is, if anyone ever even found and read the potential blog. You have my admiration for continuing to write after receiving critical or negative comments. I'm just not sure I could do it!

Ann said...

Congratulations! I so much enjoy your blog; it is a homey, comfy, safe place to settle in. Your pantry blogs have been very helpful and encouraging. When starting to put back extras for hard times, it is overwhelming, but you made it seem much easier by doing a bit at a time with what we could afford to do. And your Sunday posts are very inspiring and comforting. You have a way with words that just crawls inside my heart and makes a home there. Thank you for all your "ponderings" -- they are a treasure. Blessings for many more years of blogging.

Mary Sorensen said...

Congratulations! I especially love it when Victoria is the center of attention. : ) You have a gift for writing and I hope you can continue.

Marie said...

Brenda, thank you so much for your blog. I have said before, it is my favorite place to visit, and I hope you will be able to continue for many years to come. I have been sick myself for much of August and not able to check daily, so I missed this post for a couple of days. (Getting much better now, thank you.) Love your posts and would hate to lose this internet friendship. :)

l hoov said...

Congratulations on 10 years! Your's is my favorite, and I look forward to each post, and each picture. You have blessed me with your writings, and I feel more contemplative after your Sunday posts. Thank You!! God Bless you with many more years! LynneinMN

Cheryl said...

Congratulations! Ten years of continuous blogging is quite an achievement! As I've followed, and unfollowed, blogs over the year, your blog is one of the few that has always, always been at the top of "must read" list. Thank you for all the wonderful book recommendations, recipes, and wise words that you've shared here.

Living on Less Money Blog said...

I'm very thankful you have continued blogging. I have enjoyed getting to know you through your writings. You have encouraged my love for family,home and cooking!

I continue to pray for your health!

Anonymous said...

Yours is one of my top 3 favorite blogs! I'm so glad you've continued, even in the face of adversity. YOu have shared your wisdom & experience with grace and joy and I really appreciate your outlook on life and your faith.

Thank you!
-Connie in San Diego

Mary Magdalene said...

Congratulations, Brenda. Your blog spot is so.......inspirational, informative, homey and just plain comfortable and I look at it every Sunday and in between as time allows. Please don't stop a lot of us depend on you just to make it through the week,especially those of us who live in the city. Thanks for being there and best wishes for improved health and a good year. Marlene

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your posts - don't often comment but I always read and learn something.

Laura

Anonymous said...

Brenda on my list of ten persons to have with me if shipwrecked on a desert island you come near the top! Mairin.

Mrs. M said...

Your blog has been like visiting a good friend in a warm, comfortable and familiar home. While some other blogs have gotten busier, yours has remained humble, quiet and cozy. It is and has been an inviting space to take a friendly break from the days work while enjoying coffee, tea, a new book, and a long-term friend.

Thank-you for ten years of encouragement!
Mrs.M

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for years. It is one of my favorites. Congratulations!

Judy said...

I've been a reader for about four years, I think. Your Sunday Afternoon Tea posts and discovering your love of a few of my favourite authors got me hooked, and I rarely miss reading a post from you.

As for comments, I think the 'Like' feature of Facebook was in some ways the beginning of the end... I remember that just a few years ago twenty to thirty comments on many bloggers' daily posts was not uncommon, and it contributed to bloggers and their readers sometimes becoming friends - each got a sense of one another. Now I see that even a popular blog like Sally Clarkson's just gets a few comments (rarely more than 10), though there may be dozens, and sometimes between 100-200 'Likes' and 'Shares'. I guess there is a satisfaction for the blogger in knowing that, but I believe the blogger/reader relationship has been been diminished by it.

Blessings and thanks, and my hope for many years yet of you blogging.

hopeinbrazil said...

So glad you've stayed true to your vision and have not expanded into a large money-making site. I skip those. But you are only one of two blogs that I read faithfully. Thanks for sharing your gentle wisdom and life bloopers (frozen chicken, anyone?) and your thoughts on books.

Kay said...

I respect your need to end this lovely time due to health issues, but I hope you never feel the need to do that. I really enjoy our quiet time together and save several entries to read at one sitting. I also appreciate that you do not have pop-ups or other annoying ads. The links to Amazon are ok but the others I find on other blogs are annoying and I do not subscribe for that reason. Please take care of you and know we are reading whenever you feel up to writing. (I found you years ago from Blue House Journal's Teri.)

The Journey said...

I am so glad you started to blog. Watch out for those frozen chickens. lol