January 5, 2015

Top 10 Posts of 2014 (and a bit of sad news).

Hey ya'll! Happy 2015! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. 

Our vacation was wonderful (more on that at the end of the post), and I thought that before I shared any new projects or updates on the house, I should take a moment to recap all that happened in 2014. 










2015 begins my 4th year of blogging, and I'm so thankful for where this journey has taken me. It's been unexpected, incredibly fulfilling, and it's taught me more than I ever thought possible. And rather than celebrate with an elaborate blog anniversary celebration, I'll just do a quick happy cry on your shoulder, and then we'll call it a day. 
Maybe we'll throw in a quick booty shake, too. I don't know. TBD.

2014 was a busy year filled with tons of projects and an entire renovation of the upstairs of our house. Here are the 10 most popular posts of 2014, as chosen by you.



1. 50 Budget Decorating TipsThis post was a culmination of three years of projects, all rolled into one. It makes me sweat just thinking about it.



2. 10 thrift store shopping secrets. I never get tired of thrift store shopping, and it's been one of the most fun topics to discuss on this blog, mostly thanks to you guys sharing your finds with me. 


I get more questions about spray paint than almost anything else, so I finally put all the info in one place. 
Your questions help me SO much when it comes to knowing what topics to address in future posts. And sometimes I get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of them and end up watching Friends reruns on TBS instead. 
But either way, don't stop. :)


4. 10 Tips for Choosing a Paint Color. This post addressed another common set of questions, as well as listed the paint colors in our house.



5. DIY Thumbtack Art. This little DIY project was definitely my favorite of the year, and I love that tons of you made your own versions and shared them with me. 10 points to those of you who had the idea to make monograms out of thumbtacks, too. Smarties.


6. DIY Gold Leaf Art. This one was a pretty recent project and definitely one of my faves, too. 
I'll probably make 100 more things with gold leaf. 
I'm so sorry.




Just a simple tutorial about using chalk paint...except for the fact that it took me 4 different tries to get it right on this one (but still, so many lessons learned).



8. Knocking Down Walls. The most harrowing yet rewarding part of my year was renovating the upstairs of the house. It was nearly more than my brain could handle, but the upside was that it became a really fun thing to share with you guys.


9. My Biggest Flooring Mistake. This part of the renovation was absolutely cringe-worthy for me, but it made for a good post, and it taught me some invaluable lessons that I can apply towards any future renovations.


10. The Dining Room Makeover. I feel like the upstairs renovation kinda culminated in this post, when it eventually all came together, nearly 8 months later. 
Plus, it's my personal favorite post of the year, as it reminds me that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel...even if the tunnel seems determined to destroy you. 


And those are the top 10 posts of 2014!

Before I go, I have a bit of sad news. 
My little Cheese passed away a few days before Christmas from a rare, untreatable cat disease. It was sudden and completely unexpected, and it broke both of our hearts. For the past 8 years, this little girl has been my constant companion, and a source of such love and joy. I still get sad being in our house and seeing all of the little spots she use to inhabit, but I know that this is simply a reflection of what a special animal she was. 


 I'm so thankful to have been able to share her sweet personality with you guys over the past 3 years. It's truly meant so much to me.

And because laughter is good for a sad soul, here are some of my sweet memories with Cheese, as captured by Instagram screenshots, because who knows where the original pictures are in the abyss that is my iphone.











 We'll miss you, sweet bug. You were a good one.


Thank you guys for being a part of this blog over the past year.  2014 was one of the more challenging years I've experienced, but as I've come to learn, a challenge is merely an opportunity to grow. So, while I'm thankful for all that 2014 has taught me, I welcome 2015 with an open heart and open arms. We just got back from spending time with family in Florida, followed by a mini vacation in Savannah to celebrate the new year, and it was just the break I needed.

 I have some very exciting things on the horizon for this year, and I can't wait to share them with you as they unfold. I will likely unfold them at my typical snail's pace, although now that I'm feeling rejuvenated from a long vacation, maybe I can bump it up to a caffeinated-snail. 




Thanks for being here, ya'll. 
'Til next time!









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83 comments:

  1. Omg Virginia!! I am so so sorry to hear about Cheese. My heart goes out to you! I've had my dog, Tobey for almost 8 years and the thought of losing him brings me to tears. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you xoxo

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  2. So sorry to hear about Cheese! We've had our cat Luna for just over a year and I would be a wreck if anything happened to her, so I can only imagine how you both feel. I love seeing the pics of Tootie and Cheese "helping" with your work :)

    Thanks for being as open as you are - I always enjoy your posts, just as much for the writing as the subject matter. I hope you have a great 2015!

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    1. Thank you, Brooke. I appreciate that so, so much.

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  3. I am so sorry to hear about Cheese - my heart breaks for you! I can't even imagine what that feels like...I would be devastated if one of my fur babies died. Sending you lots of good vibes!

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  4. Virginia so sorry to hear about your sweet Cheese. I know Tootie misses her. We will miss seeing Cheese. Best wishes for a new year.

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    1. Thank you so much Susan. Tootie definitely misses her. She just meowed her little heart out for the first couple of days every time we would leave the room. We'll make sure to give her lots of extra love until she adjusts.

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  5. Congratulations on your 4th year, I've been a very quiet fan but very inspired the last 10 months since we knew we were moving into a new home and a need to fill it with stuff and the fuss that brings.
    Your update literally just popped into my email and I couldn't let this post pass without a note of sympathy for your loss. People who don't have pets don't realise what a part of your heart they are, and how devastating it is to lose a loving companion, but those who do understand and I send you my love and empathy.
    I lost my childhood dog 3 years ago and it still hurts me not to have her cuddle up to me when I'm down, and my heart still breaks a little when I see our other dogs being affectionate with my daughter because she would have been so devoted to my baby had she lived to see her.
    My heart goes out to yours, your husband's and Tootie's. Xx

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    1. Thank you so much Danielle. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your childhood dog....I know that must have been so devastating. I so appreciate you taking the time to leave me a little note. It means a lot.

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  6. My heart goes out to all of you - so sorry to hear about Cheese! They take a piece of our hearts when they go, and we're all the better for the (much too short) time we've had with them.

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    1. What a beautiful way to put it, Casey. That's so very true. Thank you!

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  7. Virginia, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of cheese, my heart goes out to you guys. I always love seeing your babies in your post, as a fellow feline lover. I always love reading your posts, and wish you a wonderful 2015.

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    1. Thank you so much, Roxanne. Hope you have a happy 2015, too.

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  8. Hi Virginia: Love your blog I follow along every email. So sorry about your Kitty's Passing. I know when I lost my two poodles 4 months apart they were 16 years I was devastated, kinda like losing a kid, although it took me 2 years I finally got another Poodle Sasha She just celebrated her 9 th B-day Oct. 31st. It is hard I still think of them and cry and my little girl comes and snuggles with me she is so into my emotions. I am sorry Honey, and it will get a little better for you!!! Loving thoughts-Jamie Honley

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet note, Jamie. I'm so sorry to hear of your two poodles, and happy to know you found Sasha. Have a happy 2015!

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  9. I'm always so happy to see a new post from you! But I am so so sad for your loss of your fur baby.... I think you mention Cheese is almost every post. We know how much that kitty meant to you!
    May you find lots more to look forward to in 2015.

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    1. Thank you so much Emily. She really was in almost every post. Tootie will really have to step up her game now. :)

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about Cheese. Honestly, I've lost a lot of pets but losing my childhood cat of 10 years, Rascal, was the hardest thing in the world. Nothing but time helps heal that wound and even then, you'll still see glimpses of her around and feel the pain all over again. Just hang in there and reach out if you need someone to listen to you cry. And never listen to anyone who says it is silly to mourn a cat. They don't know what they are missing out on...

    -Kate
    www.theflorkens.com

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    1. Thank you so much Kate! I'm so sorry to hear about Rascal! It really is so crazy how big of a hole a little cat can leave in your heart. They're just so special. xo

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  11. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how difficult it is to lose these precious creatures who come into our lives for such a short time but make such an impact on us. As a rescuer of numerous cats and dogs over the past few years (we're now down to seven cats and one dog), I empathize with your heartache.

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    1. A huge hug to you for rescuing so many furry friends. What a special thing to do.

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  12. I'm so sorry about Cheese - calicos are the best.
    Hope you enjoyed Savannah - them's there my stompin' grounds!
    (I also hope you had a chance to go to 24e. and Paris Market... great shops on Broughton!)

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    1. We've been to Savannah twice now (absolutely love it) and still haven't made it to Paris Market! It's on my todo list for next time! :)

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  13. So very to hear about the loss of your dear cat and furry friend.

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  14. That should read so very SORRY!

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  15. I am so sorry about Cheese. Losing a pet is the hardest. They sorta kinda become your children. When we lost our dog Butters it was so hard for me and I still cry sometimes for that big brute of a dog.

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    1. So sorry to hear about Butters....it's hard not to tear up when you think of them. Hugs to you, Diana!

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  16. So sorry to hear about your loss. I have 4 kitties - the last 2 were adopted after I lost 2 old ones to kidney disease & end stage asthma. It breaks your heart when they go, as each has its own personality & quirkiness. Cheese was really cute. Am looking forward to reading all your 2015 posts - I have learned a lot this past year from your blog!

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    1. That's so very true...they are each so unique in their own little way. Thank you, Mary!

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  17. Aww.. poor Cheese. Very sorry for your loss. :( Our pets are our babies. *Hugs!

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  18. So sorry to hear about your kitten :( I hope she's in kitty heaven doing everything she loved to do best

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  19. Oh, Virginia, so sad about Cheese!! We love our kitties but you are such a good human for giving her a great life for 8 years!! Hugs and happy new year!

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    1. Thank you so much Debbie! Happy new year to you!

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  20. So sorry for your loss. Animals because just as much family as people are and I know it's so hard to lose one. My thoughts are with you guys (Tootie included of course.)

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    1. Aw, thank you Victoria! I'll make sure and tell Toot that you are thinking of her. :)

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  21. So sorry to hear about your cat's passing. Your photos perfectly express how much a part of our lives pets (especially kitties!) can be.

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  22. I'm crying over Cheese. I don't care if I've never met the cat or dog (or other animal) in person, hearing of someone losing a beloved pet breaks my heart and brings on the waterworks. I'm really sorry for your loss. Time does help but it always sucks to not have them around.

    In some more upbeatness - I do have to say the thumbtack art post was my favorite because it inspired me to do it - and become hopelessly obsessed and addicted. It took me several months before I finally dove in (was procrastinating for some reason) but once I did - HOOKED. I have now made over 40 pieces including HUGE ones (full foam board sized ones). In fact, thumbtack art is what i used for half of my Christmas decorations and what I did as Christmas presents this year.

    Without that post - I'd still probably be sadly oblivious to the wonders of thumbtack art. What a sad world that would be for me! :-)

    Looking forward to more of your fun and inspiring posts in 2015!

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    1. Wow! That's so awesome, Stacy. Thanks so much for sharing that. Who knew a little art project could inspire so much?! Happy new year!

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  23. Virginia, I have enjoyed your blog, experience and humor that you have shard with us. Thank you for all of that! I am so sorry to hear about Cheese. Those of us that have "fur-babies" know they are not 'just the dog or cat' they are family members. I hope her memories warm your heart each time you think of her. Display her pictures, they will help you, I promise. May 2015 be your best year ever! God Bless You!

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    1. Thank you so much, Claire. They really are little family members.

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  24. Virginia - so sorry about the little cat - every cat we've had and lost I've cried over, but never forgotten, and neither will you. Want to thank you for your blog, it is on my "bookmarks" and I eagerly await your next instalment every time!!

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  25. Awwww, Virginia. I'm so sorry to hear about Cheese. As a cat slave myself, I feel your loss. Wishing you, Jesse and Tootie all the very best for 2015. Thank you for your continuing inspiration and for allowing us to be a part of your lives.

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    1. Thank you Sue! Tootie will relish knowing she is being sent so many happy thoughts.

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  26. Heartbroken for you to hear about your Cheese. I get the love of fur babies, I have a hubby and 3 teens, 2 dogs and 3 cats ( 3 cats too many my Mr. would say ;) but they carve a special place in your heart. I am sorry for your loss!

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  27. Happy New Year to you and so glad you are back! I adore your sense of humor, honesty and beautiful and inspiring posts.

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Cheese. I am sure it was particularly rough right around the holidays. It was always so clear from your posts how much you worship your cats. Sending you big hugs and prayers! Take care of yourself!

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  28. I am so sorry about Cheese. Losing a pet is always so hard.

    On a happier note, I am a newer subscriber, and I didn't get to see all of these posts when they happened. There are a couple that I can't wait to check out!

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  29. I'm so sorry about Cheese <3 Such a difficult thing!

    I'm so glad I found your blog this year, I look forward to more excitement in 2015 :)

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  30. Heartbroken over Cheese and hoping your sadness is eased by knowing she is watching over you every day. I tried to comment yesterday but through my tears, it went into a black hole somewhere and I didn't realize it. Cheese and my kitty Daisy are long lost twins. The pain just takes time, don't rush it or it takes even longer, be kind to yourself and let yourself be sad, it is ok. So sorry :(

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  31. So sorry about Cheese; our furry family members do fill such big parts of our hearts, don't they? My parent's dog died from a sudden canine illness in the fall, and it was absolutely heartbreaking; I kept expecting him to come trotting around the corner when we visited over Christmas.

    On another note, I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for this year!

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  32. Cheese! I'm so sad to hear about Cheese. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to my husband about "this DIY blogger I follow who has a cat named Cheese." I am sorry!

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  33. Oh gosh, reading about your kitty almost brings me to tears. I'm really fighting them back. My hubby turned me into a cat person two years ago and now I'm obsessed with all of the cats! Thinking of losing one of my two babies breaks my heart. I'm so sorry!

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  34. I’m so sorry about Cheese. In our 50 years together, my husband and I have loved, and lost, many wonderful animal companions. It is devastating to lose them, but they enrich our lives so much that we can’t live without them. It is our feeling that a house just isn’t a home unless shared with at least one cat and/or dog. May you find comfort in knowing that you gave Cheese a wonderful life and that she contributed much to making your house a beautiful home.

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  35. I am so sorry to hear about cheese. She will definitely be missed, I loved seeing her in the photos. Give tootie an extra few rubs from me.

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  36. So sorry to hear about little Cheese. As a cat lover myself, and having lost our Abbie a little over a year ago, I know how hard it is. I still get tears in my eyes when I find "yellow man," her favorite toy in the drawer where I put it for safekeeping. Praying for brighter days ahead.

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  37. RIP sweet cheese, and so sorry for your loss! cats are people, too.

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  38. I'm so sorry to hear about Cheese. It looks as though she was a sweetheart. Take care of yourselves. I'm sending virtual hugs and healing thoughts your way.

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  39. I am so sorry about Cheese. My heart is broken for you. I hope your year only gets better and blessings happen instead of hurts. May her kitty heaven be full of little toy mice, string, feathers and empty bags.

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  40. Your blog is my absolute favorite! You are talented and your house is becoming gorgeous thanks to that tslent. But, you keep it real and show the mess too. Keep it up in year 4, it'll be awesome. I am sorry that you lost Cheese. I went through that with my first cat. We'll all miss her photo bombs and 'helping'!

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  41. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss Virginia!! I've been following your blog for a while and the pictures of your sweet fur-babies makes me smile every time. The loss of an animal is heartbreaking but I just know kitty heaven is full of catnip, things for them to stalk/chase, and happiness. I know poor Tootie misses her sweet friend; just hug her and comfort each other.

    On a happier note, congratulations on four years!! I can't wait to see what 2015 brings you. Your blog is so inspiring and always reminds me of how much I want to buy a house. I'm a recent college graduate so who knows how long that will be! Until then I'll live vicariously through blogs, haha!

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  42. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! I hope that in this time of sadness you can think about all of the people you inspire (including myself!) with your blog and it brings you joy. I wish the best for you, Jesse, and Tootie in the new year!

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  43. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    /Ellen

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  44. No, Thank YOU for your wonderfull and great blogposts last year. Hope you give your loss a place and she will be in your heart forever. Love

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  45. Your blog was my first to join and remains my favorite. I enjoy your projects and decorating but mostly the humorous way in which you present your blog...thanks for many moments of smiles which we all need.

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  46. I'm so sorry to hear of
    Cheese's passing. (Hugs) Our pets are family. I loved seeing his pics on your blog!
    rainbowsbridge.com/poem.html

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  47. I'm so sorry for you guys, poor little Cheese! I love when you talk about your fur babies, its just another thing we've got in common that really makes coming to your blog so fun and inspiring. Since we last spoke I've moved in and somewhat settled into my old fixer-upper you helped inspire me to buy! Here's to a great 2015 ^_^ I'm sure I'll be implementing some of your tutorials! I'll be sure that I show you results.

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  48. I am so sad to hear about Cheese. I was just reading an old blog post and thinking she looks like my kitty, Dory. I will miss seeing her in your posts. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  49. So sorry about Cheese. Sending love your way <3

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  50. I am so sorry to hear about Cheese. Sending you love and hugs xxx
    (ps if this message comes up a few times, my apologies. 1st attempt at leaving a comment and I'm having some issues)

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  51. Aw Virginia... I'm really sorry about Cheese, I've had many pets and every time one goes it leaves a huge hole behind. I met your blog in 2014 thanks to you Spray Paint post (hehe) and I've been reading you ever since although this is the first time I comment. I'm going to start doing it more often :) Your blog is wonderful and I'm also starting my 4th year of blogging from april! :)

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  52. I don't normally read Blog re-caps but when I saw in today's posting that you mentioned Cheese going over the Rainbow Bridge, I was so sad and sorry and just hate that for you two. So so hard, I know, to lose a special kitty buddy like her. She was a darling kitty and I know you made her life so wonderful. Take care. :(

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  53. So very sorry to hear about Cheese's passing. It's never easy is it? They take such a large part of our heart. She looks so much like our kitty, Twinkle Toes. She has us wrapped around her little toe, as I'm sure Cheese did with you. I love your blog posts and look forward to what you'll be doing in 2015.

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  54. So very sorry to hear about Cheese, I always loved it when he took part in your blogs. I've had many cats in my life, and they were each so special in his or her unique way. Being so loved by you. I know it was the same for Cheese. My best wishes, and those of our 5 cats are with you!

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

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