Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger Series





 Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger is a feature done each Saturday that introduces you to a blogger you may already know or a new blogger for you to get to know. This feature gives you a peak into the personal life of the blogger.  Getting to know the special person behind the beautiful blog.

There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland so enjoy getting to know these talented bloggers each Saturday.

Nancy from A Joyful Cottage
February 28th



Happy Saturday and Happy End of the cold month of February.  So Happy March is almost here!!!!

This Saturday I have a very "joyful" blogger I would like to introduce you too.  Nancy has her blog called A Joyful Cottage.  Please sit back and read and get to know this most delightful blogger with a warm heart and a inviting and cheerful soul.  I guarantee you are going to love getting to know Nancy.  Enjoy!





Hi, I'm Nancy from A Joyful Cottage, and Kris is shining her spotlight on me today.

Can you believe it?  I feel like Miss America or something.

Here she is. . .Miss America. . .

But I digress.

Kris, thank you for inviting me today. It's an honor to be here at the charming and inspiring Junk Chic Cottage for Saturday Spotlight. And remember, you're the one who told me to "have fun" with this post, so if things get a little rowdy you have no one to blame but yourself.

Me hamming it up for my snowshoeing buddies in Colorado.


It's not too hard for me to have fun. I'm the youngest of three kids who believed her soul purpose in life growing up was to entertain family and friends.  And I still like to make people smile.



With my Ohio friends at Chipotle's Free Burrito Night.
(You're coveting my chic tin foil bow. Admit it.)

I also have a serious side, and through the years I've come to understand how important it is to be a person that puts people at ease and is willing to take the time to really listen to and encourage others. 

Life has thrown me a few curveballs.


My late husband Jim and me
with our first grandchild, Emma, 2001. 



At the tender age of 19 I married a wonderful guy in Illinois, where we were both born and raised.  A year later we moved to Southern California, and eight years after that our only child -- a son -- was born. We lived in California for 18 years, except for 10 months spent in Phoenix, Arizona.  Then we returned to Illinois to care for aging parents. Jim was diagnosed with a terminal heart disease in 1995 and left this world in 2007. He's with the good Lord now. (We were living in Ohio at the time of his death.) I lost my best friend, lover and cheerleader all wrapped up in one amazing man, and I never expected to meet another like him. Nor did I ever intend to remarry.

God had other plans. 

                       
Dennis and me the night he proposed - Christmas Eve 2009.


In October 2009 I met Dennis Reinke, a Colorado artist, through an online Christian dating service. (I know. . .I can't believe I dated online either! I'm as surprised as you are, believe me.)


All of our wonderful kids and grandkids joined us
for our wedding.  They came from four different states.

We were married Valentine's Day 2010 at the lovely Fawnbrook Inn in Allenspark, Colorado.  


The Fawnbrook Inn February 14, 2010


(Yup, we just celebrated our 5th anniversary.)  


The theme of our wedding and marriage is JOY.


After selling my house in Ohio we moved to Estes Park, Colorado, rented the apartment where Dennis had previously lived and began to look at real estate for purchase.


I loved the apartment's french doors that opened to green space and the frequent wildlife that visited.


During that time I discovered photography.  Oh, my!  I hadn't realized how much I would love capturing the world around me through the camera's lens.  We lived ten minutes from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and spent a lot of time there. Dennis painted. . .





while I explored the park with my camera.





In 2011 we bought and renovated a 1926 cab-age (Dennis called it a cabin, I called it a cottage) just outside of town, and converted the property's 1880 log barn into an artist's studio for Dennis.











This gave me a whole new area of Estes to photograph.



Except for the bear, all these animals
were photographed on or adjacent to our property
.


Although we loved our home and the environment, retiring in Estes Park was not an option. The cost of living was just too high for us. We both love the west and felt drawn to Oregon, where Dennis had lived for awhile. So, we sold our property in July 2013 and began the hunt for a home in Oregon. We traveled all over the state for four weeks -- from the eastern border to the coast and back.





We decided to settle in the mountainous area of Northeast Oregon.


A local ranch in the foothills.



Natural Lake Nearby



We bought a lot in a very, very small town.


The lot came with an existing workshop.
Can you tell Dennis is excited?


Now our 667 square foot cottage is being built, and I'm excited about sharing the whole process on my blog.


Artist rendering of our new cottage, by Dennis Reinke

I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil.  Back in the early days of the internet, before blogs were even thought of, I was part of an AOL online writing forum.  I started my first blog Coffee On The Deck in 2007, a few weeks before my late husband passed. I stopped blogging when he died and did all my writing in journals and letters to God, which really helped me through my grief. When I remarried and moved to Colorado, I wanted to journal my new life in the Rockies and hone my writing skills, so I started a new blog Joyful Altitude.  For awhile I had a second blog Mountain Manna Devotionals where I combined my photographs with inspirational writing.

It's taken me a fair amount of time to find my blogging voice, and I think it's finally happened with A Joyful Cottage.  It's my only blog now.  I take pleasure in combining my life long cottage love affair with my passion for writing. I have a weekly series called "Living Large In Small Spaces" where I feature cottages and small homes. Together we explore small home living through guest posts and home tours, and learn tips for small space and simple living. I often get the chance to feature the homes and lifestyles of other bloggers, which is something I really enjoy.

One of my dreams came true when I was contracted to write Christian devotionals for Wesleyan Publishings' devotional booklet Light From the Word, and another single devotional was published in Gary Chapman's Love Is A Verb - 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring Love Alive.




When I'm not writing/blogging and photographing, I like to quilt, craft, work on DIY projects, garden, cook. . .anything creative. A lot of times I share my projects on my blog.



A few things I shared at A Joyful Cottage in 2014.

On occasion I share the living-with-an-artist side of my life, too.





Right now we live in an apartment that is mostly
the resident artist's studio.

Okay, forgive me.  I just have to put a plug in here for my husband's art.  He is very talented, and beautifully expresses his God-given gift.




He's good, huh?  He has a website,
if you'd like to see more of his work:
www.dennisreinke.com

As I often like to say, Dennis and I may be retired from jobs but we're not retired from life. We're both adventurous and love to try new things. Most importantly, we never take for granted the blessings God has given us.

"This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad
 in it!"

I hope you'll come by and visit me  at A Joyful Cottage.
I LOVE seeing my old friends and making new ones, too!

Thank you, Kris, for shining your Saturday Spotlight on moi.


Nancy

Thank you Nancy for sharing your sweet life with all of us.  Please head over to Nancy's blog and say hello.
Have a great week end.
Kris
:)

85 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story of love and life. xo Laura

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  2. What a wonderful and inspirational blogger to feature! Such a beautiful reminder that when one door closes another one opens. Love the rendition of her cottage and how fun to have one built to design!

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    1. Danni, thank you for visiting today and for your nice words. It's such a joy to be at Kris's cottage, and to have a chance to meet other bloggers like you. :)

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  3. Wonderful, Kris! I just spent much time on Nancy's husband's Dennis' website, and certainly plan to get to know Nancy better by visiting her blog. Kris, did you know you're a wing-man?! lol
    Rita

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    1. Kris does a super job, doesn't she, Rita? Thanks for visiting Dennis' website, and I will enjoy getting to know you better, too!

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    2. I already follow Nancy's blog. I enjoyed hearing her story.

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  4. Wow, she was just so much fun to read about. Sounds like her and her husband love life. I really enjoyed reading about Nancy and her sweet blog

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  5. So nice to meet you Nancy....I am so very sorry for your tremendous loss and happy that you found Joy again..I know Estes Park very well...Have friends that used to live there...on that golf course with gorgeous views of the mountains..but they too moved...they eventually settled in Windsor, CO....Colorado is beautiful but then again Oregon is just as beautiful and I wish you much luck on your new journey...Loved seeing a peek of your hubby's art!....thanks again Kris for another great feature..so enjoyed reading about Nancy and her family!!

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    1. Shirley, it's wonderful to meet you. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. The Estes Park golf course is gorgeous. It used to crack me up to see all the elk grazing amongst the golfers. Windsor is a nice town, and one that is really growing. Have a great weekend!

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  6. Kris, I was so excited to see Nancy featured here today! She is a dear friend and a truly lovely person. I really enjoyed seeing photos of her life "behind the scenes"! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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    1. Kim, my friend! It's so nice to hang out with you here today. Thanks for coming over. Hugs!

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  7. So nice to get to know more about Nancy...she lives life! Her husband's artwork is wonderful!

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    1. Linda, to say that I "live life" is a great compliment. That's exactly what I want to do. . and to find joy in every day. Thanks for the compliments on Dennis' art, too. You're very sweet, and I'm happy to meet you. xxx

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  8. My darling friend, I am so happy that you found happiness again after the loss of your beloved first husband. What an inspiring story! I knew some of it already, but not this portion. Your courage and attitude inspire me. So glad we are friends!! xox

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    1. I'm blushing, Anne. Thank you, my loving and kind friend. I"m very, very glad we're friends, too. So happy we met! xox

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  9. I enjoyed reading about you Nancy and your life so far. How neat to live with a artist who does such great work. Love your photos as well.

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    1. DD, thank you for these sweet, kind words. I've always said that being the wife of an accomplished artist has definite perks. It's the first time in my entire life I've been able to have original art hanging on my walls. LOL

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  10. Hi sweet Kris. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of your wonderful Saturday Spotlight - Life Behind the Blogger series. Rita is right. You truly are a "wingman". Nowhere else on the internet is such a warm and hospitable cottage to be found as yours. You are the ultimate hostess in making sure everyone has been introduced, there are plenty of refreshments to go around, and a plethora of comfy chairs and cozy corners in which to relax and really get to know one another. Again, thank you. I'm so glad we met in this Land of Blogs. xo ~ Nancy

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  11. I loved reading and learning more about Nancy's interesting and inspirational life today. Nancy's blog is just as sweet as she is. Thanks for featuring her, Kris!

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    1. Hi, Laurel. It's so nice of you to visit and say such sweet things about me. The feeling is mutual!

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  12. I've been following Nancy for over a year now and I really enjoyed learning more about the personal side of Nancy. So glad you shared her with us today Kris!

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    1. Hi Marie! So nice of you to visit. Your sweet words always lift me up. Have a wonderful weekend! xo

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  13. I love you, Nancy. You're the best!

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    1. Oh, Sue! You're so sweet. I love you, too, dear friend. Thank YOU!

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  14. it is lovely to learn more about the blogger, herself. thank you for sharing...

    Tessa~

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    1. Tessa, we just recently met and I'm enjoying getting to know you through your blog and comments. Thanks so much for dropping in today. Hugs.

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  15. Hi Kris,
    Perfect pick for a spotlight, I adore Nancy and her blog. I recently discovered Nancy and her enjoyable Saturday cottage posts. Comments and emails and some of what Nancy shared today, but loved discovering more. Nancy you are an inspiration and I'm going to check out your husbands website. He truly is a gifted artist.
    xoxo,
    Vera

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    1. Vera, thank you. I'm so honored by your words. Meeting you has been such a pleasure, and I love your blog. You're so talented, and such a wonderful person. Hugs.

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  16. I loved reading Nancy's story and learning more about her! What a great feature!!

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    1. Martina, I've enjoyed our comments back and forth since we've discovered one another's blogs. I'm still thinking about your dining room light fixture! LOL

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  17. It's nice to read that some widow's find Joy after losing the love of their lives! It sounds like God has truly blessed Nancy!

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    1. Thanks for this thoughtful comment. God has, indeed, blessed me. I remember going to a grief support group after my husband died and the Pastor talking about surviving spouses who found happiness in remarrying. I burst into tears and said to him and the entire group that I was certain that would never be the case with me. I was so heartbroken at the time, and had no clue how much God would heal my heart and open it up to love again. xo

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  18. So enjoyed learning a little more about Nancy and her journey in life and blogging. She is a lovely person, a wonderful writer, and a sweet friend. Her cottage/blog is, indeed, joyful, and Nancy is a most gracious hostess. Thanks Kris, for featuring her in your amazing series, today!

    Happy weekend!

    Poppy

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    1. Hi Poppy! Thank you for writing such nice things about me. All of them express how I feel about you, too! Hugs, my friend!

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  19. Hi Kris,
    I enjoy following Nancy's blog and am so happy that you featured her - nice to learn a little more about her!
    Hugs,
    Lin

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    1. Hi Lin! Thanks for stopping by and leaving the nice words behind. Have a great weekend! xo

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  20. I have followed, and loved, Nancy's blog for quite a while. I knew part of her story but not all of it. She is just a lovely lady and I am so happy to see her featured here so that even more people can get to know her. xo Diana

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    1. You're always so nice, Diana. I'm very happy we've met through blogging. Hugs!

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  21. What a wonderful blogger! Colorado is a fantastic place.
    Kisses
    Alessandra

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    1. Hi Alessandra! Colorado will always hold a special place in my heart. Living there was a great experience. Hugs.

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  22. I so enjoyed learning more about Nancy and her journey in life. She is a cherished friend. I love the JOY that she shares on her blog and through her emails. Thank you Kris for featuring Nancy in your Saturday Spotlight series. Weekend blessings to you both. Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. Hello sweet Teri! Thank you for stopping by and sharing my joy. :) Weekend blessings and hugs to you, too!

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  23. Kris, I think Nancy and Dennis are both very talented. It was so nice reading about her life. Thank you for this featured blogger today. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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    1. Thank you for that very nice compliment, Susie. I hope you have a great weekend!

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  24. Thank you Kris for introducing Nancy and Dennis. I had the pleasure of meeting Nancy through her blog when she featured my Christmas cottage on her blog. Now I have had the pleasure of meeting Dennis and learning about her joyful new life with him and all of the wonderful blessings they are sharing together. Blessings to you Kris and to Nancy and Dennis. Erin

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    1. Erin, thank you so much. The greatest joy in blogging is meeting wonderful people like you. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. xxx ~ Nancy

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  25. Nancy is a dear blogging friend. She is always so up and kind.Thank you Kris for spotlighting her. Jo

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    1. Jo, I'm so glad we met. Your smiling face always makes me happy!

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  26. Loved Nancy from the moment we found each other! Not sure who found who. lol! She has such a sweet spirit and you can tell that she is a happy person! Through a terrible trial of losing her husband she has still remained to stay positive and upbeat. I wish only the best for her and I'm so happy that she found another jewel. A talented one at that. Can't wait to see their cottage come to life!
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks, Jann! I think yours is one of the very first home and garden blogs -- if not THE first -- I followed. You inspire me! xo

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  27. I have met Nancy in recent months at A Joyful Cottage! She is a wonderful lady and am so happy for her! Her blog is inspiring and I enjoy it very much~~~~So looking forward on her new cottage adventure! Blessings~~~Roxie

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    1. Roxie, you're so sweet. Thank you. I enjoy seeing the transformation in your charming vintage cottage. Hugs.

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  28. Thank you, dear Kris, for sharing Nancy's story with us and to the amazing Nancy for letting us into her world. It is very generous of you both. I just recently met the wonderful Nancy through her fun and fascinating blog. I can tell she is a special person from what she shares with her readers. Reading about her life is a clear reminder that love can find us when we least expect it, the beauty of hope and that dreams really can come true. I loved it! Blessings to you lovely ladies and to all your readers.
    Hugs,
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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    1. Hi, Linda! Thanks for all the nice things you wrote. You are a dear, and I'm so glad we met. Hope is something with which I know you are familiar. Hugs.

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  29. Thanks Kris for allowing us to learn more about lovely Nancy. I recently found her blog and am exciting to be following the Joyful cottage build.

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    1. Hello my new friend! So nice to see you here. I'm enjoying learning more about you and the transformation of your home! xo

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  30. I love following Nancy's blog and so it is so nice to also get to know her personally. What a wonderful story of love and a full life. The pictures are gorgeous as is her husbands art.

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    1. AnnMarie, I always enjoy what you share on your blog. It's nice to have you as my vintage blogger girlfriend! :) Thanks your sweet words. Hugs.

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  31. NANCY! HOW FUN WAS THIS! This was a great way to see another photo of you and to get a feel for your personality! You sure seem like my type of woman....FUN, lively, free-spirited, LOUD maybe? Oh this was delightful. Your story of your first husband really made me realize how blessed we all our when we have these companions in our lives for no matter how long. Your little grandchild in that first photo is GORGEOUS! And now, your life continues to unspool into more enchantment, mercy, grace and beauty.

    I'm so late, but very charmed to meet you once again in a different light. Blessings my friend! Anita

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  32. Loved reading this. A happy ending! I look forward to visiting and getting to know Nancy better. Another great feature Kris!

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    1. Hi Sherry! I'm looking forward to getting to know you. Thanks! xo

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  33. What a beautiful post about Nancy! Dennis' art is beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Nancy and Kris!

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    1. You're so kind. Thank you for taking the time to visit and for leaving these very nice words.

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  34. I have Dennis' pumpkin print and enjoy it from Halloween until Christmas. I also love Nancy's beautiful blog. Nice post.

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    1. Hi Joy! I'm glad you're still enjoying the pumpkin print! Hugs.

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  35. I follow Nancy's blog and I wanted to thank you for featuring her. She writes in a way that makes you feel like you have been friends forever. Debbie

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    1. Oh, Debbie, you are just the sweetest person. Thank you for this. It warms my heart. God bless you.

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  36. How fun to learn a little more about Nancy! Thank you Nancy, for sharing and thank you Kris, for hosting!

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    1. Hi there, Anne! Thanks for reading my lonnnnng story. Getting to share it on Kris's beautiful blog was pure joy!

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  37. Kris, thanks for introducing me to Nancy. I will be visiting her blog and will enjoy getting to know her.

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    1. Hi Jane! It's nice to meet you here at Kris's beautiful cottage. :)

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  38. here's a lady who puts alot o life into her retirement! and her husband is an awesome painter! beautiful picutres, nancy! thanks for sharing , kris:)

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    1. Aw, Lynn, seeing this is a very nice way to start my day. Thank you! xo

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  39. Hi Kris,
    I just love Nancy. She is so positive and honest.
    Thank you for featuring her.
    xx oo
    Carla

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    1. Hi Carla. Thanks for these very, very nice words. Hugs.

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  40. Nancy, you have lived such a rich and full life, and "joy" is just the perfect way to describe you! It comes across in all you do, and I'm so thankful that the Lord was able to turn your mourning into joy. I loved reading your story again, and seeing how the Lord has blessed you in so many special and wonderful ways!

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    1. Thank you, my spicey friend. :) I'm very thankful for the lessons I learned as a widow: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28. Hugs.

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  41. I do enjoy and envy someone who finds a wonderful life through online dating.
    Your cottage area is just beautiful

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    1. Thank you. I had to kiss a few frogs before I found the prince, I'm afraid. At just the moment I was about to give up with the whole online dating thing, Dennis came along. It turned out well. :)

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  42. It was so nice learning more about Nancy, whose blog I love!

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    1. Thank you so much, Magali. i love your blog, too. Definitely one of my favorites. xxx

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  43. Such a nice post Nancy, I always enjoy your blog. You have such a blessed life and wishing you and Dennis all the best, and hope the cottage is coming along nicely...I am sure you are so ready for Spring!

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    1. Hi Judy. I appreciate your kind words. We are super busy with the cottage. I hope to get an updated posted very soon. And yes, I'm ready for spring, although the weather here is unusually spring-like. xxx

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