Monday, January 1, 2018

When One Door Closes

Note: If you are looking for Foodie Friday and Everything Else, the link party has been permanently retired. Thanks for all of your support over the years.

I've been dancing around this door for years, wishing it would close on its own, sparing me from making a hard decision. But the time has come to put my big girl panties on and close the gate at Rattlebridge Farm and Foodie Friday/Everything Else. I'd planned to do this last week, but I was derailed by a flu-like illness. During that time, I was plagued with doubts. Maybe I could opt for slow blogging? No, I'd already done that since late 2015, and a relaxed approach had not helped. 

It was time to let go. I couldn't leave this door open another year. Reaching this decision was unbearably hard, mainly because the blog has been a huge part of my life for a decade, bringing joy, friendships, and merry adventures. Thank you for enriching my world. I will miss you all like crazy.
You know what they say about doors. If one closes, a window flies open. That's the nature of doors and windows. They need closure. 
Until then, you can always find me on Instagram and Pinterest

Love,
Mlee



83 comments:

  1. I am so sad, but wishing you all the best. Thank you for all the good things you have given though the years.

    Hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you have a lovely year. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes at Foodie Friday.

      Delete
  2. I can't believe it! I just discovered your beautiful blog and you posted that you were closing the blog 16 minutes ago ...? Best wishes, I took 2 years off from blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m delighted to meet you, Lottie. Thanks for your sweet words about the blog.

      Delete
  3. So glad I will be able to get inspiration from you still on Instagram and Pinterest. Have enjoyed your blog for quite some time. Good luck on your new endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m glad we’ll stay in touch. Hope 2018 is off to a great start in your neck of the woods.

      Delete
  4. We will hope to see you blog every now and again. However, I'm now following on the others. Blessings to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m happy we’ll be in touch. That was the main reason I kept the blog going—amazing people like you.

      Delete
  5. You will be greatly missed, Michael Lee. Thank you for all you've done, all the beauty you have brought into our lives.
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet Beth, thank you for your kind, supportive comments over the years. πŸ’πŸŒΈπŸŒ·πŸŒΌ

      Delete
  6. Oh no, I will miss you so much. What do you plan to do with all your spare time? I have slowed down my blogging this past year. I turned 76 last June and in July my husband had an emergency pace-maker surgery for a third degree heart block. Scary. I do make a tea time calendar for friends and family and it's a project just getting things out for a photo session. Wishing you a wonderful time on your new journey. I do follow you on Instagram.
    Joyously,
    Betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Betty! I will enjoy visiting you via IG. Best wishes to you and your husband for the new year!

      Delete
  7. I am sorry to hear that but I truly understand. I found you just a short time ago and have enjoyed getting to know you a little bit. Blessings to you as you move forward and embrace something new. Happy New Year. xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Michael, my first reaction when I read this post was ooooh, no, not Rattlebridge Farm!
    I loved your beautiful and successful blog in the middle of a blog world that seems to become more and more commercialized. I feel you kept it kind, real and genuine not just catering to the next company that you are trying to cooperate with. I am honestly a little sad that you have made the decision to close your blog down. I don't know your motives, but of course you have to do whatever is best for you. Thank you for the joy your brought to me with your posts and for the platform of Foodie Friday and Everything Else where I could post my own humble blog entries and made them seen by a greater audience. I really appreciate everything that you did here on your blog.
    In any case, I am wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year 2018!
    I will definitively follow you on Instagram and on Pinterest and I have to admit, that I have a small hope that you will reconsider your decision and reopen the blog again, as it has happened with a very successful French Garden Blogger that I am following for a long time now.
    Warmly,
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words, Christina. And thank you for making Foodie Friday a fun place. I look forward to visiting with you on IG.πŸŒ·πŸ’•πŸŒΌπŸŒΈπŸŒΊπŸ’

      Delete
  9. I so totally understand this as I will probably blog less this year and some day stop totally. I'm not there yet, but you have been blogging longer than me. I will miss your posts and hope you share often on IG. Happy New Year Michael Lee!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Goodbye and Godspeed. I am not on Instagram or Pinterest but please feel free to stop by my blog and say hi. I keep my blog fun for me by not having a blog schedule. Enjoy your time away.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You’ll be missed but I understand the need to make changes. I’ll try to keep up with your Instagram posts. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can only imagine how hard it was for you not only to come to this decision but to press the "Publish" button and make it known. I have really enjoyed your blog and participating in Foodie Friday & Everything Else and loved how you kept it so casual without any "rules" for those linking up. Best wishes for 2018 and all the new things I'm sure you'll find to keep busy with.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Foodie Friday was the second blog party I joined and I thank you for offering it all these years! I also thank you for your generosity (I still have some piggy kitchen items and can't live without chipotle hot sauce now) and inspiration over those years. Wishing you all the best Michael, you and your blog will be missed, take care:@)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hope that new door has something wonderful inside. I've always enjoyed your blog. I wish you all the luck in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm so very sad about this but do understand.
    Wishing you the best in your next adventures!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for so many beautiful pictures, insightful thoughts and well-written words. I have so enjoyed your blog. Much happiness to you on your hilltop in Tennessee.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So sorry to see Rattlebridge Farm stop posting. I can understand the decision, and hope that you'll post again at some point. I was always more interested in your posts than I was the link party. I don't have a smart phone so I cannot do Instagram, and my Pinterest use is almost non-existent. I totally get the need to step away from social media. I will still be on the follow list to see anything if you come back after some time off.

    ReplyDelete
  18. As a follower since the days of RMS am certainly going to miss you but completely understand. To conclude; wishing you the very best of the best that life has to offer. Fondly -Brenda-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and I go back to RMS and Gollum. What a journey it has been. Please stay in touch!πŸŒΈπŸ’•πŸŒΉπŸŒΊ

      Delete
  19. I'm not surprised at your decision because I think I read a comment you made to someone recently that you were considering shutting down your blog. However, like others have said, I will truly miss your blog. I've followed you ever since the days of RMS and while I seldom comment, I do love reading your blog. I shut mine down last December (well, 2016) after 9 years and have never looked back. I am pretty active on Instagram now and will definitely be following you on IG. I think the "old" blogs are dying a slow death. I think more and more people are turning to IG and the "good old days" of blogging are over.

    I wish you the best and hopefully you'll write another book one day!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Of course! I totally understand, moments are precious and should be spent doing what you love. I will miss FF&EE, my favorite no rules, complete freedom party, and your witty words filling your posts. I will keep up with you on instagram, Happy 2018 to you and your new furry family additions!
    Jenna

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sad to see your blog go, but appreciate that you said Good Bye. There are some blogs I'm still wondering what happened to them after 2 years. Good luck and God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your blog is the first one I ever read, back when it was Designs by Golem, so I feel as if I am losing on old friend. But you have to do what you have to do, and I support that. I'm also curious as you what you may have up your sleeve. I wish you nothing but the best, my friend. Keep in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh! How we'll miss you! I do hope we'll be able to access your old posts. I'm not sure how these things work so it may not be possible. But you have become a true pen pal friend and my heart is heavy that we won't be in touch any more. I do not have instagram or pinterest accounts. Thank you for brightening our days, for bringing us beauty and making us think. God bless you, dear one, from the bottom of my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been enjoying your blog for many years now, almost since the beginning. I will miss your posts very much! I was always very thankful that you didn't turn commercial and plug products on your blog. Thank you for your many years of enjoyable writing. Take care and God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have appreciated the parties and enjoyed your posts. I will move on over to Instagram and check out your pretty pictures there. All the best to you in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kim. I hope you have a cozy, wonderful new year!

      Delete
  26. Wishing you many blessings as you move forward. I have enjoyed your blog and will look forward to your Instagram posts

    ReplyDelete
  27. You will be missed by many, but I'm sure everyone understands. I'm sure it takes more work than I can imagine to maintain a blog, and you have provided many hours of pleasure to lots of people. Thank you for that!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I totally understand...I haven't blogged in a long time. Of course, you offered so much more to all of us and I thank you! Your food photos, recipes, parties, pets, decor, gardening, family...have loved it so much! I do hope that you will make time to rest and do whatever you want to! :) See you on IG!

    XOXO
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my Michael Lee! You are one of the ones that I first started following in blogland....You had so much to offer us...you are so talented....I loved following your adventures in your homes, your beautiful recipes and tables, the gardens and your books! I loved reading about your family and laughed and cried reading your stories. I wish you and your family well .... and may you all have a most happy and healthy New Year. Will be following you along on IG....good luck Michael Lee and thanks for all that you have done to enhance our lives with the amazing beauty you have presented to us all these years!! Will miss your posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for these kind words, Shirley. am so happy we met through blogging and became friends.

      Delete
  30. I so hate to hear this. I will definitely miss your blog posts. That being said, I do appreciate you telling us your decision. It's so frustrating to have favorite blogs that just suddenly stop with no warning. You will always be welcomed back if you so decide.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Will miss your beautiful blog! Thanks for all the inspiration over the past few years I've been a reader. Best to you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nan of TN-

    Your blog has been a sweet respite for some time and will be dearly missed! Might we hope a new book is brewing in your soul? Here's a little story... after leaving Memphis to move to Franklin to marry, my new husband was quite unsettled when I arrived home after shopping, with your book "Gone with a Handsomer Man". He was convinced I must have had evil intentions! Well, he is now my EX-husband. In the midst of unpacking my new home back in Memphis now, got the biggest kick of putting all your books on the shelf! "Mad Girls in Love" will be just the thing for this deep winter freeze. Best regards, Michael Lee! Thank you for all you've shared with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my gosh! Best and funniest story EVER!!πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

      Delete
    2. LOL... the man certainly had issues! Maybe he suffered a frozen slab of ribs upside his head prior to our meeting? ;-)

      Delete
  33. I'm really sorry to hear but I can understand the need of changing the way to express yourself. I'll follow you on Instagram ❤

    ReplyDelete
  34. I follow you on IG and will continue to do so! Thank you for all the wonderful Foodie Friday parties!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We go way back, don’t we? I’ll see you later on igπŸ’πŸŒΌ☕️

      Delete
  35. You have been an inspiration to me on many levels, mostly in your gorgeous content, photography and uncommercialized approach. The beauty of this type of blog is that you CAN go slowly, or stop, your choice, your time. I applaud you for making the choice, from the beginning, and now at this, your chosen end. I am not on IG, but like that people can be accessed there even if one doesn't have an account (I visit my daughter that way at times). And though I don't cruise Pinterest like I once did, I do follow you there. I love that you won't be leaving social media entirely, that would feel more a loss. I will visit you when I need a boost of beauty. Thank you for elevating blogging to an example of what I'd like to see and be more of.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Rita, thank you for bringing friendship and fun into my world. Your comments were always like a tapestry, such a delight to read. I will miss them—and you. πŸŒΉπŸŒ·πŸ’πŸŒΈ

    ReplyDelete
  37. There are many chapters to our lives and I can't say I'm surprised by your writing the ending to your blog chapter. I never had a desire to blog because of the commitment of time, so I can fully understand your decision. I've been holding off all this time even registering on Instagram for the same reason—time vampire! At this "stage of the game", time(and energy!)is a precious commodity, so I can sympathize with the need to scale back. May many blessings continue to grace your life and those of your loved ones, Michael.
    P.S. I have actually been near-ready in the last few months to register on Instagram, so I'll be sure to check up on you (& those adorable furry creatures) when I do!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you, Michael Lee for all the years you have inspired, delighted and entertained us with your beautiful words, styling and photography. I appreciate that you kept true not bowing to commercialization. I have marveled how you kept up with remodeling houses, blogging and writing books at the same time.
    Please know how much I appreciate you featuring my blog from time to time. That was such a boost to me.
    Happy New Year and many blessings to you and your family. I enjoy your IG posts very much.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for all your time, talent and energy that you have given to this amazing blog.

    I hope you will consider (if you are not under contract already) writing a photo book about joy. Your Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living - 31 days last year was a real gift and treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Understand but hate it! I'll still be following on Instagram. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  41. Michael Lee, I sensed this would happen and I totally understand! You have enriched my life and provided so much inspiration to me personally! Take care of yourself and I have been a follower on IG and will look forward to keeping up with you! Happy New Year and I will be excited to see that window open! Blessings my friend~

    ReplyDelete
  42. So sad that you are not going to be blogging anymore. I've really enjoyed this blog. It's one of my favourites. But I totally understand. I just retired myself about 2 months ago and it is wonderful. Enjoy your extra time. I hope you keep the blog pages up and available for a while. I want to go back and copy a few things like recipes and some of your decor (I must get pics of the new kitchen at your last house, I totally love that kitchen). Thank you for all the inspiration over the years and wishing you and your family all the best in this new time in your life! Sharon - slbolderson@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear MLee,
    I too have been suffering with whatever this crappy illness, finally gave in and went on antibiotics. So add stomach distress to all the other symptoms!
    I have fallen away from blogging, and since Mike passed, can't seem to get excited about blogging, etc
    I will keep up with you on Instagram, and wish you the best. I have fond memories of knowing you!
    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm really sorry to hear you're not only giving up the party but also the blog. Your blog has been a beautiful source of information! I wish you great success in all you move on to doing!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Michael Lee, I'm so sad...of course I understand. I missed this post, my sister was in town through New Year's Day and I was away from the computer and I've been trying to get my house back in order after she left. I guess you're going to force me to hop on the IG train to keep up with you and your sweet pups :). Foodie Friday was the first blog party that I joined and I have consumed a lot of virtual calories over the years there and with our NB posts too. I will miss you. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  46. You know I am netless, Mary emailed me, of course I am sad to see this, those times I can connect i LOVED seeing your life, pets, garden and food for the exhausted! You have been caring and sharing for over a decade, I understand pulling the plug,it's hard work entertaining the masses, but you always did it with style, grace and that wonderfully wicked sense of humor! I hope you will return for a novel baker periodically, Mary just found a spring fling to tempt our creative juices πŸ˜‰ it has been a wonderful ride with you, but never say never!

    Ps, now I have to figure out instagram to see what's happening?! Technology has flown past me as all three of our homes are too rural for reliable net. Oh, and a new learning curve!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Michael Lee, I'm late seeing this post. Needless to say it makes me sad, but I can empathize with your decision. I've, too, often thought of closing the blogging door of late, but have left it limping along. I do love IG, but the connections isn't the same. The best part of the blogging world has been the connections and friendships over the years. I greatly value your friendship and will most definitely follow along on your IG feed.
    Yes, when a door closes, a window flies open. I look forward to seeing what that window shows you. Perhaps another book??? You have your garden and those cute pups to keep you busy in this new year. All the best to you in every aspect of your life. You are one very creative lady who I greatly admire.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you Michael Lee, for inspiring me, for sharing your talent and the ability to tell the story in such a beautiful way. Your Designs By Gollum was one of the first blogs that I followed and then finally had courage enough to share at your linky parties. I have come here on Fridays for years and will surely miss that connection and inspiration. I feel like we shared our love for our little dogs that are such a big part of our life. Thanks for the gift of giving, I will see you on IG.
    Wishing you the very best of life always!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen's Country Cottage

    ReplyDelete
  49. Ooh Michael Lee, I'm late in seeing this post, too. It makes me sad, but I so understand your need to this. I know I've told you before that your linky party was the very first one that I ever linked up to. You have and always will be a friend and inspiration. I guess I'd better get on Instagram to keep up with you. I wish you the very, very best of whichever window flies open for you. You are loved, dear
    lady. You will always be special to me!
    I am taking a blogging break, as I am off to Ohio tomorrow for my own little Mama took a fall in her kitchen and broke her right shoulder. I am going to help in
    whatever way I can in her care. It's not easy seeing parents as they get older, is it?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Dear Michael Lee, I will miss your site but I am thankful for discovering it. I wish you all the best with your next big adventure in life. God bless and take care dear, Catherine xo

    ReplyDelete
  51. I will miss you so much, but I am sure we will continue to see each other on Instagram. I remember the very first time you left a comment of my blog, and I ran to my husband shouting excitedly that the author of "Crazy Ladies" left a comment on my blog! I couldn't believe that a real live author was actually paying attention to me. I've loved our relationship and I know that we will stay in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have enjoyed your blog and Foodie Friday for years! Good luck with what the new openings bring you.. you will be missed...

    ReplyDelete
  53. Oh, Michael Lee, I'm just now reading this as I have really cut down on blogging too. I almost slammed that door shut but just couldn't do it. So far and in between I blog. Even though we've never met in person, I feel I know you. I know your heart and you're a very loving, warm and not to mention, talented lady. I so understand but I will miss seeing your beautiful posts. Of course I'm following along with you on the other social media sites. Please know I wish you always the very best.
    You are the sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that you have shut down your blog, although I understand why. Blogging is a huge time commitment, even when taken slowly. I will miss your genuine and wise words. Good luck with the new door, I hope it opens to something wonderful! I plan on following you on IG.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am going to miss you. On and off i would connect with you with my Indian recipes. There is so much to learn from your posts. Lots of love to you. Best wishes Sujatha:)

    ReplyDelete
  56. You will be so missed here, Michael, but I will definitely stay in touch on IG. Thank you so much for all the inspiration and for hosting Foodie Friday. I wish you all good things!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I am happy for you! I know how hard blogging can be. Take care of yourself and let's catch up soon We are in the middle of a large remodel, move date in May. Love you, Allison

    ReplyDelete
  58. Michael, you will be missed. I'm not on Instagram, but I'll see you on Pinterest! Wishing you all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Awe, sweetly put! I believe a door never closes it just floods the energy into a new direction when we decide we're ready! A beautiful new chapter is about begin! xo, Gail

    ReplyDelete
  60. I know the feeling! I enjoy Instagram so much more - so quick and easy and I can visit everyone so easily! I slowed down too, but haven't been that happy with it, but haven't decided to quit entirely! Yikes - good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Wishing you relaxation and days of enjoyment!I will miss you!
    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete