Me and Mrs. Jones

With the recent demise of the esteemed blog House of Beauty and Culture I had to pause and consider why its author would cease to find joy in something that was offering so much of that elusive stuff to me.  

And like all kinds of loss it made me stop and wonder when the day would come when I would pull the plug.  Honestly, it’s hard to imagine blogging indefinitely.  Hmmm…”Well, I’ve been blogging for twenty-eight years and…”  No.  Unlikely.

And as a great over-thinker I had to wander the path of, “Why in the heck am I doing this anyway?”

For me the answer remains the same as the day I started almost two years ago.  The exchange.  The conversation.  The connection.

Often the connection takes place with another blogger, but it happens, too, to sometimes flourish with a reader.  You exchange a few emails, you get to know each other a little better.  You might even fill in some of the more personal details.

And then one day her house appears in a local magazine and you marvel at her mix and unbelievable color sense.  And you just want to email her the password and say, “Your turn.”
You can read the article from the May/June 2009 issue of Kansas City Home Design here.  Photography by Landon Collis.
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35 thoughts on “Me and Mrs. Jones

  1. I can understand the urge to stop blogging. But, I can't understand why someone would delete their blog in its entirety. It's like burning up all of the photo albums.

  2. The exchange is it for me too. It's the best part, and the part I never expected.

    I don't think any blogger has an end game in mind. Like most things I think I'll do it until it's not fun anymore.

    Mrs. Jones' home is gorgeous. I'd thought about using house numbers as drawer pulls once but decided against. I'm totally rethinking that now.

  3. * That was so lovely~~~ and obviously heartfelt~~~ made me stop n' think. (And I'm not even a blogger…….)~~~~~~

    Thank you,
    Linda in AZ *

  4. Wow, so well said Patricia. As corny as it may sound, it's meeting others who find joy in similar things that has kept most of us blogging. Love Mrs. Jones' house.

  5. It still breaks my heart that House is gone. He was such a unique voice from a totally different perspective than so many of us. I hope that he is still reading the blogs and appreciating how much he's missed and by how many.

  6. This got me thinking, too. I think that there is a season for everything. Lately, I have been doing a lot of rearranging of priorities. It is hard to let go of a relationship whether it is up close and personal or whether it is a little more distant as in a blogging relationship. With me, those ol' abandonment issues creep in a little. But the more I release my position, the more I see the seasons of life. Have a great week. Thanks for making me think.

  7. TTI – I agree, I miss him dreadfully.

    vt – continued thanks

    David – I think you are right about the lack of end-game plan; it seems to evolve. Wouldn't the Neutra numbers be fab?

    Jennifer- lucky for us that you have even as other things have come along.

    Meg – I'm hoping the same thing.

    Megan – did. And, I agree – the house it terrific.

    Karen – no time soon, I promise. I'm still having so much fun.

  8. Although I don't post very often, I visit the world of Mrs. Blandings every day and just want to thank you for sharing. xo

  9. There is such a wonderful connection in the community. It has been a life saver for me to share, exchange ideas and admire so many and see differing points of view.

  10. Just received my Elle Decor and was thrilled to see your name on the byline pgs.44-52. Heartfelt congrats. Have not had a chance to read the copy but loved seeing our hometown in photos. I am sure this is just the beginning of many more opportunities to wordsmith. Fondly, pam at Creative Candles.

  11. I come very late to blogland (only last year) and it's been a very interesting journey. I have always been the "go to" person to answer/assist my friends with projects. I longed to be the one to go to someone else. Now there is an entire world to inform me, show me, teach me, challenge me. It's been wonderful to read about other people's passions, mistakes, beautifully and heartfully made homes. Having a blog seems like a great deal of work. I do hope all of you feel your efforts are appreciated.

  12. You know, Mrs.Blandings, maybe blogging is a bit like an affair, a love with possibly timeless feel to it or at one point it comes to an end. That's how I feel about HOBAC. He possibly lost the intensity of it and broke up…
    He might return to us in a new form one day!
    As for me, I am so fesh in blogland, it a burning flame, very consuming, but I can't see an end to it, but that's my nature, rather intense. Maybe one day I'll grow tired of blogging, but I hope not too soon.
    I benefit so much from you all, there is such a learning and enjoying and I am so greatful to the welcome you all gave me!


  13. Oh, I forgot: The house is absolutely gorgeus, so well edited, with love decorated and the artwork fabulously displayed!
    Beautiful colors! Compliments & greetings to Mrs.Jones!

  14. Mrs Blandings- See- brilliant. I think well said is in order- the very discussion I have been having with a number of friends about blogs they read and love and don't comment on! I even added your blog link to my Face Book page last night. LA

  15. I'm venturing a guess he'll return.
    Those connections are why I'm so happy to have joined this lovely world. Its a homey feeling & he'll miss it…I'm certain.

  16. Well said. I love your blog and have felt a connection with you ever since I started reading about a year ago. I even rented Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and watched it twice!

  17. I ran to Barnes and Noble to find your article in Elle Decor yesterday. I was looking front to Back, back to front. Were is Mrs Blandings! So I finally found the wonderful article on your town, Kansas. So I thought, so she goes by a different name. Maybe her real one? Who would have know how fun Kansas was with out your article. Thank you so much for introducing me to it!

  18. This place is magnificent but no one could do what you do as well as you do. And as you point out, the exchage with you is why we all swing by each day.

    House. Oh, now. That was a very sad day indeed.

  19. After all, you were such an inspiration to me, then I fell down the blogging hole – like a wonderland of things and incredible people. I too do it for the connection and it does make the details more fun in life.
    Thank-you for staying the course and not surrendering.

  20. It is something to ponder. I have enjoyed so much in the months of blogging people I have come to "know" and enjoy their company. Your "home" is always so inviting. Thanks.

  21. Patricia, this is almost my favourite post from you thus far…

    It would be a very sad day if/when you decide to stop Mrs B!

  22. Patricia, I forgot to mention how much I love her wall colors. I am breaking out of the box with more vivi, intense shades in my decor.

  23. Very well done. I am a relatively new blogger, both my blogs started in 2009, but blogging has taken me on a journey far different than I had expected that I wouldn't trade for the world. In one sentence I would say that you find people who get you.

  24. Thoughtful post … I agree. I just last week pulled the plug on both my blogs. I am a writer, formerly an interior designer, and I was using a lot of time on them that I needed to use writing other things.

    Blog posts can be saved to the hard drive — so, no, it is not like burning up the family photo albums, if that is all that is stopping you! I did not have much luck with Blogger's instructions, but by saving it to the Desktop and then putting the posts into a "Smart Folder", I now have my words and pictures which may eventually turn up elsewhere — one never knows. ( I use a MAC — don't know anything about Windows.)

    I enjoy your blog when I have time to look at it — and I just received the ELLE Decor issue with your piece yesterday. I think I was last in KC when I was a child and we had relatives there, so maybe I need to put it on my "to visit" list!


  25. Well, it was you the first blogger whom I even corresponded with, then I desieded to try this thing out, and I have been hooked ever since! Yes, by the way…I caught the article in my new ED and read it last night. Quite a lovely and well written description of life in KC and how much it has to offer, I completely agree. We love to visit family there!

  26. Mrs. Blandings,

    I am most thankful you paid a tribute, and a worthy one, to HOBAC and the frailties of blogging.

    Like others, I, too, was stunned at the loss, not only the complete obliteration of all his remarkable insights, wit, sentiments, etc., but the suddenness of it, so unexpected, so final and empty, like a plane falling out of the sky, vanishing off the radar.

    I remembered thinking that like anyone who blogs with any frequency, you find yourself moving through a digital neighborhood day after day, not entirely unlike the one you live in. Each site, like each home, has its own personality and over time you come to know the quirks and foibles of the occupants within.

    You might stop by for a chat, or just have enough time for a brief wave from the street, but there’s a comforting familiarity to it — a well worn path defined by time and habit that is steadying, reliable and blessedly ordinary. So familiar are you with the placement of the houses, the streets, the landmarks, that you feel a curiously odd sense of home.

    Sadly, that’s been disrupted, at least for me. When I pass through the neighborhood now, the lot is empty where his house once stood and it saddens me still.

  27. Patricia, I just received Elle Decor this afternoon. What a lucky day for all of us in Kansas City.
    Your article underscores exactly why your fans hope you never stop writing. The writing. It's succinct, funny and well-researched. It draws you in.
    It also accomplishes what every legendary designer has…it inspires.
    I want a signed copy of ED just to prove I knew you when.
    Mrs. Jones

  28. Susan – I appreciate this especially as you are a native. It seems likely that this will be the pinnacle, but I am Sharpie ready anytime.

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