Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Dewena from Dewena's Window

 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.

Good Saturday to all of you.  Summer is just flying by I cannot believe July is over and August is beginning.  Summer is going way to fast.  This week in Spotlight I have a delightful and fun blogger for you to get to know.  So please take some time out today and read and get to know this fabulous blogger.

Kris, Junk Chic Cottage's blogger extraordinaire, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your Spotlights!

It was with the patient help of Brenda of Cozy Little House that I began blogging in 2012 at my old blog Across the Way. This other encourager of new bloggers even introduced me on her Welcome Wagon Friday.

Eventually I worried that I was missing out on life by blogging about my life and said goodbye. That lasted one month and I began to miss writing posts. I probably did a stupid thing. Instead of going back to Across the Way, I started a new blog, Dewena's Window.

I only told my family and two special blog friends, Poppy of Poppy View and Tammy of Peanut on the Table. And I didn't open comments for 11 months. Weird, huh? At a gentle nudging from Poppy I opened comments last December and learned that it does take YOUR voice as well as mine to make blogging real, and so much more fun.

What can I tell Kris' readers about me?

When I was born, Rosie the Housewife had already wrapped a kerchief around her curls and had become Rosie the Riveter building airplanes for War World II. Mama and I followed Daddy from base to base when I was a baby as he trained as a navigator on B-17s and B-29s.

I think I was born loving snow and Christmas.

R.H. and I were high school sweethearts. We started dating because my best friend wanted to date his older brother and was only allowed to double date.

We got married 6 months out of high school--not something we would recommend.

R.H. worked with my father in the garden center and Christmas tree business for many years.

I worked as receptionist for a large religious publishing house in Nashville, TN and had just passed my test to become editorial assistant six years later when I quit work to have our first child.

We have 4 children--3 sons and 1 daughter-- their births spread over 3 different decades. When the first two were born, I found out if I'd had a boy or a girl only by holding up my wrist when I woke up to see if they'd put a blue or pink beaded bracelet on me. 

When our last two children were born, we went through Lamaze classes and I gave birth to them in a hospital that didn't even give out an aspirin for labor. Kind of proud of myself for doing natural childbirth in my late 30s!

Why do I blog?

Partly to escape stress, the greatest of which comes from us owning a family business with two of our sons and spending time in this room as secretary. Ever heard of retirement, R.H.?

But mostly I blog to tell stories. Some are family stories, in hopes that a grandchild someday might read them and know more about their family history through them.

Our son Gurn and his wife are also our next door neighbors, here with their two sons.

Christy and Bryan live in Florida but visit us with their two schnauzers as often as they can.

When our daughter Christy married Bryan, their two families became one--and they even have a new daughter-in-law!

Our son Zack is single and this is his baby, his Olde English Bulldog, Bentley.

Bentley and Zack live downtown in their bachelor pad but I want him to settle down--soon!

Our youngest son Defee, and his wife Wallace, have 2 adorable little girls. Here they are at the Fourth of July parade in their town.

Our daughter-in-law and son have read to the girls since they came home from the hospital.

And here is my mother on an earlier birthday--and she is now 90 years young!

Of course we have fur babies here, all rescues. Otis and Milo were adopted from dachshund rescue after their terribly ill owner surrendered them at 9 years old. They had never been neutered so guess what was the first thing that happened to these bewildered brothers when they went to rescue? Yep, snip snip. We adopted them six months later and exactly one year to the day that we had lost our dear Penelope, also a longhaired dachshund, at 15 years old.

They are my shadows, my beloved babies.

Brown Eyes found us, walking up the long driveway, skin and bones. Katie Belle is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. And 3 pet hens give us nice brown eggs.

We live in Valley View, this 1920 farmhouse and it's beautiful 24 acres near Nashville.

This is a house surrounded on four sides by tall ridges with a waterfall and creek to wade in.

The old chicken shed blocked our view from the house to the valley so it became a picnic shelter.

We lived here for five years with one bathroom before we added on another, and for fourteen years I cooked in this tiny kitchen.

It was an exciting day eleven years ago when we broke through the family room wall and built a new kitchen and laundry room, gutting the original bathroom too.

The new kitchen began with touches of retro red.

It is where our family gathers when our kids and grandkids are here. And it gets crazy!

Over the years we've grown up and our kitchen has too.

I love to cook from my vintage cookbook collection.

Occasionally I take time to set a pretty table.

At Christmas I go a little nuts trying to set tables for blog posts. I've vowed this year to scale it back. We'll see.

The real story behind this blogger's life is probably true of anyone who blogs. I simply like to write. Years ago I wrote a short story and submitted it to the magazine I had worked at decades before. They accepted it! 

They even hired an artist to illustrate it! Then a few months later they accepted an article I wrote about our own Christmas Advent devotions. 

I was hooked on writing then. Surely it was time to write a book? About five years later I had written three books and had two of them rejected by one agent. Never submitted anything again.    Maybe for the best as I would have been terrified of trying to promote a book, speak before people. I even turned down the one offer I had to appear before a women's group in Kentucky after they read my short story, my knees quaking at the prospect. 

So I just kept writing. A few years into writing a family saga, I realized I wanted to know everything about the pasts of the the three families. So I wrote another book that took place in 1840 and short stories and not so short stories taking the families up to 1904, which is when my real book begins.

Totally unnecessary but oh so much fun!

Then I discovered blogs, years after most people did. Was it possible that there was this amazing way of writing and with the push of a button you could be published for the whole world to see?

I could write about Ray Bradbury's dragon eating the White Swan when I looked at this old photograph of a woman who just about ripped my heart out with her dejection. Can you see how the swish of coat of the young woman hurrying past her adds to the pathos of this picture I bought in an antique store years before? Couldn't you even see a movie written from this one photograph?

I could take an advertisement from one of my vintage magazines and turn it into a story about Calling a Girlfriend in 1953. Stories are everywhere, all around us, waiting to be told.

And so I blog, and read other blogs. Sometimes I get burnt out, rest and come back to it. Because there is always that little word waiting to push:


Is that not incredible? Admit it, fellow bloggers. Don't you just about do your happy dance every time you hit that button?

Thank you, beautiful Kris of Junk Chic Cottage, you with the gorgeous white deck with its pretty pink posies and the vintage flower bedecked bicycle. Thank you for inviting me here!

I hope all of Kris' readers will visit me and R.H. at Dewena's Window and introduce yourself if we've not yet met. If you're among my regular readers then you know that the door, or the Window, is always open.

  Hope you enjoyed getting to know Dewena and learning more about her and her beautiful family.  Love all her rescued furry family members too.  I always say someone that rescues and adopts animals has a big heart and is a true angel here on earth.  I hope you will hop over to her wonderful blog Dewena's Window  and introduce yourselves.

Have a wonderful rest of the week end.


  1. Dearest Kris and Dewena! Good morning! It is always sensational to meet another blogger and learn more about them. Dewena was kind enough to come and leave me a comment after seeing my comment on another blog. THANK YOU, DEWENA!

    I love your home. The view from the garden of your 1920s farmhouse is lush and so enchanting! And why do we blog? We need to express ourselves and know we belong to a community of people who dare to share what they love. Thank you for this tour! Enjoy your weekend, ladies! Anita

  2. Kris, thank you for this wonderful introduction to Dewena and her blog. Dewena, I may not know you, but I will soon! I'll be over to visit shortly. What an interesting perspective on why we blog you've brought here!

  3. Kris
    I so enjoyed ready Dewena's story about here life. What an interesting lady with a lovely looking family!

  4. How fun, what a lovely introduction. Off to say hello!

  5. Yes, I was immediately off to say hello, to Dewena. And so much fun finding another 'contemporary' blogger. When I first started, I was a bit daunted by the youth and energy of so many gals, but it's so much fun to find a few my own age.

  6. I love Dewena. We had lunch a couple of weeks ago and she is such a wonderful person! Her blog is wonderful!!

  7. I followed ACROSS THE WAY and was sad when Dewena stopped it / quite happy to have found her blogging again :)

  8. Hello Kris, I'm late to my own party this morning! Little dachshund Milo was sick during the night so we both overslept this morning. He's better now.

    Thank you so very much for asking me to be in the spotlight today! You are so kind to help introduce more bloggers to each other. Thank you to all the commenters and to all who visited Dewena's Window! I appreciate the chance to get to know you all and will visit everyone.

    A beautiful Saturday to everyone,

    1. Dewena,
      This was my pleasure to introduce you to the wonderful bloggers that visit Spotlight. They are the best and I know you will find some wonderful new bloggers to get to know. Thank you for your lovely feature today. Hope little Milo continues to feel better. Have a great Saturday.

  9. kris... what a beautiful site you have here. and to honor as a guest one of my favorite people in all the world! thank you.
    she has become like a sister to me. i have none of my own.
    but this post has been filled with new insights into her life! i wish she would publish those books!!! but thank goodness she blogs!
    we're all better for knowing this beautiful and creative and loving lady. and LADY is the perfect word to describe dewena. dsm.

  10. Really enjoyed reading this and getting to know more about Dewena and her family.

  11. Oh Kris
    I so enjoyed reading about life behind the blogger
    I always read these and forget to leave a comment
    Dewena's Window was a delight to read
    Now I have a new blog to read


  12. I have fallen behind in blogs over the last year with illness and surgeries and Dawena's is one I haven't visited in a long time. Thanks for featuring her. And now, I am off to Dawena's.

  13. Loved reading about Dewena's journey, even though I read her blog regularly! She can weave a story like no one else I know!

  14. Kris, I love all that Dewena has written here for us. I have visited her site before. Such a nice family. Can't wait to see her Christmas tables. :) Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  15. Kris I really love your spotlights. Just think I would never have known that most of this bloggers were around, but because of your series you bring me new and wonderful blogging friends. Thank you so much I really enjoyed learning a Dewena and her life. Have a fabulous weekend. Hugs, Jo

  16. Hi Kris,
    I do love the Spotlight! This is so fun to get to know Dewena :-)) Thank you.

  17. You picked one of my favorite people in all of blogland to highlight today Kris. Dewena is a true lady, in every sense of the word.

  18. I feel like I've made a new friend! Thank you for featuring Dewena today, Kris. I can't wait to start reading her blog. jonni

  19. I came here from Dewena's blog. It was wonderful to learn more about her. Thank you for featuring her here.

  20. I had not yet met Dewena - looking forward to getting to know her better.

  21. What a lovely spotlight, I'm on my way to Dewenas now xo

  22. Dewena and R.H., two high school lovebirds who built their warm and beautiful nest, filled it with a big, loving family, adorable fur babies, and lots of fun and laughter, are such sweet friends, both here in blogland and in the real world, too. I have learned so much from our charming and gracious guest of honour, and discovering more about her each time, through photos of her pretty home, her eloquent writing style, and passionate projects, has made me truly appreciate this cyberspace, where places like Junk Chic Cottage, and its lovely hostess, Kris, make it so effortlessly accommodating to sit a spell, and indulge in more of Dewena's artistic elegance and generous heart.

    Thank you ladies, for a wonderfully inspirational read!

    Happy weekend, to you both!

    P.S. Yes, there is definitely a movie in that dispirited woman's face. You've already got a manuscript to your name; it's time for a screenplay! What say you?

  23. Thanks for introducing me to Dewena! I, too, have not visited as many blogs as I would like to during the past year, and I really miss that! Hopping over to visit right now!

  24. I met Dewena a short time ago. She is a gracious, kind and honest lady and I feel blessed to have met her. It's been wonderful to read and learn a little more about her. Thank you Kris.

  25. I always read Dewena's blog Across the Way and was very sad when she stopped blogging. I'm glad to see she's back and will pop over to say "hi". Thanks for featuring her, Kris.

  26. Thank you so much, for this delightful interview with Dewena. Love finding out more things, about a lovely blogger.


  27. Hi Kris, visiting from Dewena's Window and thoroughly enjoyed this post. Dewena, it was so good seeing your photos, reading your story, thank you. You have a handsome and beautiful family!

  28. I've been reading Dewena's blog for just a short while...I originally found her through Rue of An Old-Fashioned Life. Such a lovely lady and I love her blog. This was a wonderful interview with her and I really enjoyed getting to know her a little better through this feature!

  29. I absolutely love Dewena. She's an incredible writer, a beautiful person and a great friend. I'm so happy you featured her :)


  30. Dewena has been a true blue blogging friend from the very start. In fact, she and few other Ladies and myself did a Christmas Tour a few years back. Her charm, honesty, classy style, great wit and writing style are just a few of her amazing talents. So glad that you featured her, she is one terrific Lady!

  31. Kris, I'm so glad you introduced us to Dewena! I love the name of her blog and the graphic she uses draws you in even more. Heading over to Dewena's Window next :)

  32. Nice to meet you have a very lovely family and home!...Seems that blogging is a perfect fit for you as you have a passion for writing and your home and family. Great Spotlight Kris!

  33. Hi Kris...I love her blog and enjoyed this post so much! Thank you for featuring her!

  34. Thank you for the introduction and I have indeed signed up. I cant wait to explore what I have missed.

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