Friday, November 7, 2008

Does Willow Reinvent Herself?

People who cannot invent and reinvent
themselves must be content with borrowed
postures, secondhand ideas,
fitting in instead of standing out.
Warren G. Bennis

There has been some talk in the bloggyhood about various types of
blogs and their purposes. One of the beauties of the blog world is the
individuality of bloggers and their right to choose what they post.
One of my readers recently commented that, in their opinion, I try
to “reinvent” myself and my blog is somehow not in tune with the
"new millennium". Let me just say, and those of you who know me
personally can attest, that my blog is not too far from who I really
am, although reinventing oneself is not entirely a negative concept.
We all take part in the creative process of inventing ourselves by
blogging. I have chosen to keep my blog simple and hopefully positive,
sharing "a few of my favorite things" (hence the header) with a
thought, poem, film or even inspire you to try one of my favorite
recipes. I purposefully steer away from politics, controversy and
generally subjects that might be considered part of the harsher
side of life. With the current state of our nation and the world, people
are frightened, worried and exhausted. There is a plethora of blogs
out there with tough, real issues highlighted and discussed. Just
because I, personally, don’t regularly post on these topics, it doesn’t
mean I am out of tune with reality. My life is far from perfect, and
I’m not always in the sunny mood I try to show, but if I can share a
little respite from the daily grind, with my simple little Manor theme,
then I am happy. I don't know about you, but blogging has been a
most beneficial experience for me. All of you delightful friends out
there have made my life the richer with your thoughts, laughter and
tears. Thanks, dear bloggies.

Now, with that said, let’s get on to something completely and utterly
frivolous. I've been tagged twice! Once from Marc and also from
Sydney. Since the tags are similar, I'm going to combine the two.
(And if you aren't familiar with these two friendly bloggers, go
pay them a little visit.)

CLOTHES SHOP... Shopping for clothes used to be quite the
enjoyable experience. I could just throw any old thing on my lean
5’ 7” frame and look fabulous. Now that I'm not as young as I once
was and my body has started rearranging itself in unique ways, I
am forced to use my creativity to it’s furthest degree. Talk about
reinventing myself! So, the formerly fun experience is now a
challenge, to say the least. I usually stick to the minimal basics and
add flair with interesting accessories and jackets. And I always like
to shop for clothes alone.

FURNITURE SHOP... I can’t remember the last time I actually
shopped for furniture but do remember almost dying of sticker shock.
20 years ago, we bought two similar vintage sofas for $50 each and
covered them with matching fabric for the living room. They still look
great. But I would love to have a new sectional for the family room.
There’s just not enough furniture to accommodate everyone and their
significant others when we want to all watch a movie on holidays.

SWEET... Fortunately, I don’t really have the sweet tooth like so
many do, but really have a weakness for dark chocolate.

CITY... We lived in Kansas City for four years when we were newly
married. It is a delightful place to live and I have missed it ever since.
Another city I love is Philadelphia, where my daughter lives. It has
big city attractions like NYC, but on a smaller scale. Lots of charming
historical areas like Rittenhouse square and the historic district. The
Philadelphia Museum of Art is marvelous.

DRINK... I never turn down a nice glass of Chardonnay. Favorite beer
is Michelob Ultra (I know, a complete girl beer) in a frozen glass, of
course and I really like Svedka, Diet Pepsi and a twist of lemon.

MUSIC... Basically, I am a classical music kind of girl, with some 60’s
and 70’s music thrown in. My daughter is an opera singer, so I have
come to appreciate and love it, as well.

TV... The only regular TV programs that I watch are on PBS. I like
Nova, American Experience, History Detectives and Antiques
Roadshow. Not really a big TV watcher, though.

FILM... Now movies are entirely another thing. I LOVE film.
Especially vintage ‘40’s, foreign films and any well done time period
movie. I am totally embarrassed to tell you how many DVD’s are in
my collection.

COFFEE... I adore ultra strong coffee. But lately have found that
I can’t tolerate the caffeine. So now I mostly drink tea, but it is
just not the same. Now and then I treat myself to a cup of extra
strong Marques de Paiva whole bean decaf with fat free half and half.

So, for what it's worth, there you have it my bloggy friends.
Anyone who would like to play this tag, please consider yourself are all IT!!


  1. Edward and I find your blog a delightful respite from the stress of life in the year 2008. Well, I do... Edward wouldn't know stress if it walked in the front door. But both of us think you are wonderful just as you are and we thank you for providing us an interesting and beautiful place to visit.

  2. Willow,

    When I first stumbled into Willow Manor via the black box, I looked over at my hubby, and said-- this is one of the most beautiful blogs I've seen. Your blog in it's entirity.

    I lurve it.

    Thank you for being so fabulous! =)

  3. Please do not even think about changing your blog or self. Your blog is one of my favorite top five. Most of the time, I don't comment, I just drop by for some quiet time and to find something new and interesting.

    Your blog is not only pleasing to look at visually, but always has some interesting information, great photos, wonderful art and literature,and terrific verse.

    Also what Pamela said.

    Troy and Martha

  4. That is exactly why I keep coming back again and again. Not only is your blog delightful, it is a soothing, escape and a treat for the senses. (I can even smell the recipes!)

    I like this meme you've done. I find buying pants a real challenge now, as my body is "uniquely rearranging" itself as well. If I could tear myself away from the blog-world, I might get out and get some exercise!


  5. oh, good grief! - people who come to a place by CHOICE and leave a negative comment are so boring! - obviously they speak about themselves inside their comment - this is one of the best blogs in the blogesphere and success always breeds a bit of negativity sooner or later - so boring, but your meme was fabulous!

  6. I love reading your blog willow and feel that I am getting to know you quite well. You have no need to reinvent yourself - you are fine as you are and so is your blog. Long may it continue.

  7. You know I love your blog! Always learning something new, seeing something delightful and enjoying each and every one of my visits here. I can't imagine why anyone would leave a negative remark on a blog. It is as you said our choice to talk about what we wish to say and it is the reader's freedom of choice or not to read as they wish. My wish is that you just keep doing what you do!

  8. I love your blog just as it is. A melange of many interests and interesting things. A blog, no matter what we write about in it, can only show one tiny facet of the writer, as we are all multifaceted creatures. You know those hanging balls with bits of glass glued on? At any one moment only a few facets face the light and they are but a small part of the whole. Even when face to face with another person we can only "see" and know small bits of who they are in entirety.

    Frankly I think the ability to reinvent oneself is completely a positive characteristic in today's fast moving and changing world. Not to mention a sign of a creative and questioning mind. If I could not reinvent myself I would still be using a typewriter. I would be doing the first job I ever did post college which was librarian. I have spent years reinventing myself, which is more like flowing with what interests me now. and not remaining frozen in time just because "You made your bed now lie in it." Well, I am going on. Hard to know what your reader really meant by the comment. But whatever, just go on being you, the you you wish to show us all on your blog. Blessings, Suki

  9. Oh I am sure, you like your blog, it feels. You are your blog! Do not change.
    Nothing is more pleasant than the window that opens on to another.
    Sorry for my bad english.

  10. Your blog is truly lovely and I enjoy every moment I spend here. Thanks for creating such a lovely respite.

  11. I think it's nice to escape from the harsher aspects of reality occasionaly! I also prefer shopping for clothes alone. I like helping other people pick out clothes, but when it comes to my own wardrobe, it's definitely a private affair!

  12. Willow, I think you can take it from your many regular and dedicated readers and followers just how much you and your blog are enjoyed. Not every post is going to elicit gushing from everyone, but you manage to get that reaction more often than not.

    Your positive and slightly escapist blog posts are enjoyed and appreciated by many and that fact has to be unquestioned when one looks at the response to your recent Ball. I couldn't be there because I was taking tea, on her Majesties Sectet Service orders, but those many who were, declared it the most fun event of the year!
    Nuff said - Lady Willow of the Manor rocks!

  13. Dear Willow, I want to tell you that yes I noticed you didn't tackle sensitive issues such as politics...and so what ? Who says blogging should be this or that ? When I open your blog, I know I enter Willow manor with its so special and exquisite ambiance. And you are the very special person and voice behind it. When I read you, it never crosses my mind you are in the process of reinventing yourself. I'd rather say you are "extending" yourself (if i may say so)...You tell us about the books you like, the poetry and the movies you enjoy. It's you and only you...

    So keep at it, dear one !

  14. No one has the right to criticize another! Therefore I retain a dignified silence on whoerver it was except for saying, with a strong Auzzie accent "what b... Cheek!!!!
    We have not only the right and privilege to be who and how we wish to be, but also the prerogative to show or veil any side of ourselves we wish, or float off into the realms of fancy wither our muse leads.
    I forget which of your Indian forebears said "do not criticize another until you have walked two moons in their shoes" and I fully agree.
    I love your blog, it makes me smile and so often gets me over the odd hurdle of life.

    Go girl go!

  15. I had not noticed that you don't write about politics. But so what? All I know is that your blog is one on my must not miss list. It is a haven, I love everything about it, I don't know if/how anyone has been critical but if so just ignore.....

  16. Honnêtement, je n'ai rien compris... Je vais traduire, et revenir...
    C'est Toi sur la photo ???

  17. Oui, me c'est. With a little help from Photoshop! ;^)

  18. Me too, I love this blog, but without "ciguë", but with the beer and the wine, and with Lady Willow !

    Great Lady !

    Smile (great smile) for You !

  19. You and your blog are a ray of sunshine to me. You just can't understand some folks taste, neither would I want to.........

  20. You seem very young, perfectly strong and wonderfully creative to me ... to us. Your blog is after all "your" blog and therefore I would assume it to be ... very much you. Yawn & Pshaw to those negative, far too opinionated commenters, may they go back to their lurking land.

    This wonderful blog world had truly changed my life, and only in the very best ways. Cheers from Nova Scotia

    xo, S, Miss D, Nessie, Oiver & L'il MAn

  21. Hey gal,

    You have a daughter that's an opera singer!? Wow, that's a really amazing talent. I'll bet she's good too. I've sang in public (people ran for the exits holding their ears) and know how hard it is to sing 'regular' songs. I am impressed.

    I hope you can keep your blog light. Please don't change for us!! We love you as you are. I try to keep mine that way too and only diverted to politics for a day or two because I wanted to express my opinion. Dat's done. :o) (For now ... tee hee)

    I've been tagged on this one already awhile back. It's at my blog if anyone wants to read my answers.

    Yer Gawga Pal ♥ ∞

  22. I learned something a few years ago as I began learning how to scrapbook. My friends and I would assemble in an extra room and completely litter the room with ideas, paper, glue, glitter, frames and other ephemera. Soon,it became apparent that each of us settled into our own style. One friend was the Glitter Queen as she freely used glitter on every page. My other friend tended to "slap it on" with little regard to much else. And as for myself, I was deemed the "classic" one, as my dress and decorating style lapped over onto my scrapbook pages.
    With that said, as soon as I stumbled upon your blog, I love your style. So please don't change but if you do, I will still pop on over to see what you are up to!

  23. I have found your blog to be the most fun place to be, especially on a foggy afternoon. I don't comment much as I am stunned into silence and awe.

  24. I agree with your blogging thoughts. I try and stay within certain guidelines myself. Keep doing what YOU like to do, and let the others do as well :)

  25. I, too, stumbled here from the Black Box and have been coming ever since. It's one of the most beautifully designed and written blogs I visit on an almost daily basis. Go ahead and reinvent yourself as much as you want. You'll always be you and it's why I come back.

  26. I look forward to your blog every single day and feel enriched by what you choose to post.

    I salute you!

    Hey - I grew up in Kansas City! What neighborhood did you live in? It is a fabulous city full of artful, well mannered people.

    How cool that you lived there. Love it!

    Happy weekend!

  27. WT is from Kansas City. We lived in a cute little old neighborhood just south of the Plaza. The neighborhood was called Brookside.

  28. I feel that if I walked by one of my bloggy friends on the street I would know them instantly, even having never met. You form strong bonds and share ideals...and yes, it's like having strong, hot coffee with a friend, wouldn't miss it for the world...EVERY MORNING...

    Thanks Willow...

  29. "Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope." I am not sure if those are your words or not, but when I read Since the election I have finally felt at peace. Like we are a country about to bloom. I have a sister named Willow too. I know it is your house but still. Be blessed

  30. Your blog is somehow not in tune with the "new millennium"? What a oddly horrible thing to write. I don't want to belong in their definition of a new millenium! Ugh...

  31. Your blog exactly the way it is, is what brings me back week after week. Thanks for this little sanctuary, Willow!

  32. Fascinating stuff, Willow. And wise words on blog content, too. We all 'edit' our own lives to a greater or lesser extent. (Don't get me started - that's the subject of my novel, Writing Therapy!) What's great about blogging is that there's no filter other than the author. Everything's a true picture (edited or not)! And they're all so fresh!

  33. "I could just throw any old thing on my lean
    5’ 7” frame and look fabulous."
    I'm waiting for this to happen to me. Only have three inchs to grow. How long do I have to wait. OH, and I suppose I'll have to wait for the willowyness too.

  34. I adore your blog. I'm a big believer in blogging about whatever the heck you want...nothing wrong with a little escapism.

    I like this tag. Marc tagged me too, I just may steal this format!

  35. i'm stunned that someone would leave a comment like that on your blog or even e-mail you with that kind of sentiment. that is NOT in the best interest of blogging or mankind. that said, i'm delighted by your blog and enjoy visiting. it is beautiful and never disappoints. you have interests very different from mine and i love your diverse perspective. keep being your fabulous self . . . we love you!!

  36. one more thing! what's wrong with reinventing yourself?!! not that you are but would it be a bad thing if you were?? we are all constantly changing and evolving and growing. i think a little reinvention every once in a while is healthy.

    this really got my blood pressure up! i love a good argument or cause!

  37. Oh I really enjoyed this post, Willow.

    No, no, please don't modernize your blog and "reinvent" yourself, so to speak! We like it just the way it is. Your following testifies to this fact!

    "I purposefully steer away from politics, controversy andgenerally subjects that might be considered part of the harsher side of life."
    --I'm with you on that. I am actually very much into the more serious matters but the blog serves as a respite. I totally understand your motives here as I used to have a very heady blog I wrote with a Princeton valdictorian but it got to be too much. I then broke off on my own but found I only attracted those like minded or those diametrically opposed which wasn't much fun and compelled me to have to write better an better stuff each time that in the end one loses one's own voice. I got a fairly big following as a result but it wasn't really worth all the effort. Now I jsut posts when i want. Not so much pressure.

    Also, we all know that just because your blog is a certain lighthearted way doesn't mean you don't have hard times too and have a serious bone in your bod! LOL.

    Keep it up, W. your's is one of my faves. It's a visual and word respite form the day for me.

  38. What an ugly, mean-spirited comment! And completely unnecessary! I don't know what kept you from gently inviting that person to kiss your b#%&!!!

    You delight us all and I keep you close by, in my FAVORITES! Your blog lifts me up each and every day!

    Many blessings to you!


  39. I am joining in the discussion late (as usual these days of family outings).

    I don't think that I can add anything to what you already mentioned at the beginning of your post. Just in the UK there were 4 million blogs last year. That figure must have tripled by now. An worldwide that number must be at least ten times bigger. So, that means that if that reader wants to find a post that reflects 'reality' (whatever that signifies), they have plenty of places to go to.

    You satisfy my various cyber-needs and that's why I come back so often. There's your weekly word, there're the poems, there're your recipes, there's the music (some of which I admit I wouldn't normally listen to, but you provide witty commentary with it). Your blog is far from perfect, but me, I am a man who likes imperfection. It's more human that way.

    So, may Life at Willow Manor continue for many years to come!

    Greetings from London.

  40. Nice comment by Cuban and well put.

  41. You so rock no matter what version of Willow we get, its primo (or should that be prima?)!


  42. Well, I've told you oodles of times that this was the first blog that I discovered and I think it is divine! You continually inspire with your wide-range of topics and beautiful imagery here.

    I can always count on discovering something amazing at Willow Manor.

  43. I am with you all the way! :-)

    Smile though your heart is aching,
    Smile even though it's breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
    If you smile through your fear and sorrow .

    I believe!!


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)