Fourteen years ago today I entered the world of blogging. It was a bit of a lark and I really don’t think I expected to still be doing it all these years later. The thing is, I have found blogging to be rather addicting. I’m the type of person who thinks best through writing.
Flannery O’Connor said:
I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.
And Joan Didion said:
I don’t know what I think until I write it down.
Those sentiments resonate deeply with me. And that is why I write.
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How it All Began
My blogging journey actually began with an email newsletter. I was an avid reader of a newsletter, Penny Ann Poundwise, written by Terri Cheney and another called Laine’s Letters. I found both to be just the sort of cozy encouragement I needed as a homemaker.
I had been sharing some of my recipes and other short writings in a Yahoo Group for unschooling moms and, inspired by Terri and Laine, I decided to start my own newsletter. The first issue of Tea With Dee went out in February of 2005. I wrote more or less consistently through 2011 and sporadically for a few more years after that.
I don’t remember who suggested it but one of my newsletter readers asked if I had thought about starting a blog. I was reading a handful of blogs at that point including Dooce, Amalah, and a few others that are no longer around. Fun fact: The Pioneer Woman started blogging the same month I did. AND Marlboro Man’s aunt is a member of my church.
Those were the days when most blogging was of a very personal style – almost like a diary – and very, very few even attempted to make any money at it.
My daughter, Lisa (who blogs at Retro Housewife Goes Green) married in May of 2005 thus ending almost a decade as a homeschool mom. I was a bit at loose ends and had begun the process of sorting through and getting rid of a huge amount of homeschool books and other materials. On May 5, 2006 I decided to start a blog in which I would share my decluttering journey. I called it Ponderings of a Packrat.
Here is the very first post I wrote:
Almost immediately I realized I would be writing about a lot more than just decluttering so I soon changed the name to Tea With Dee, like my newsletter.
I wrote pretty consistently, usually several days a week. I shared my daily life, things going on with my family, my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects, recipes, homemaking topics, vacations, books I was reading, and as soon as I learned how to do it…photos. In many ways it was simply a journal I shared with readers. I honestly have no idea how many people were reading it back then as I didn’t have any means of checking site analytics. I had about 250 newsletter subscribers so I’m guessing my blog readership was about the same.
From Tea With Dee to Life With Dee
As blogging grew and began to change into a more professional pursuit for many, I was encouraged by my daughter and the growing popularity of her blog to rebrand Tea With Dee and begin blogging in a more intentional manner.
Lisa designed and built this website for me and on September 1, 2015 I officially launched Life With Dee.
The first post of the redesigned site:
All the old content from Tea With Dee is here if you look back through the archives (you can find this at the bottom of the site). I also had a second blog called Dee’s Kitchen for several years where I shared my recipes and menus.
All of those old recipes are here, as well. Most don’t have photos and the recipes are not terribly specific. They are more along the lines of what you might get verbally from someone at a church potluck. If you’re an experienced, intuitive cook you’ll know what to do with them. If you’re a beginning cook? I wish you luck! I do intend to go through a number of those old recipes and update them. Someday…
The Future of Life With Dee
One thing I’ve learned is to not get too hung up on trying to anticipate every twist and turn in the road of life. I’m naturally a planner and not a huge fan of the unknown. Unfortunately for me, life isn’t always in sync with my nature. Still, the older I get the more comfortable I am with living in the moment and not worrying (too much!) about the future.
So what does that mean for this blog? Well, for now I am not planning any major changes. I’ll continue to share recipes and write about homemaking, books, travel, a bit of French-inspired living and always with a focus on “creating a beautiful life”.
I do, however, miss some of the old chatty “day in the life” style of blogging from the early years. Perhaps you will indulge me if I occasionally include posts like that?
I also have a couple of projects in the works that I am rather excited about. In addition, I’ve given thought to starting either a YouTube channel or a podcast to go along with this blog. What do you think? Would you be interested in either of those? What about a forum? Or do you have other ideas or suggestions? I’d love to hear what YOU want to see here.
Please comment below or feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) any time. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and as always, remember to “create a beautiful life”.