Fortunately for me, and all of my contemporaries, there is a little tool now called The Internet. The World Wide Web is a virtual wonderland, full of all the excitement, danger, and inspiration of any real-life country. Like any nation stocked with humans, it can be loaded with scallywags, nincompoops and trolls. For me, however, Internetland is full of friends; people to "talk" to during those long lonely stretches of time. The online community of writers, illustrators, cooks, bakers, and farmers populate my world and kindle my creative fires every day.
Recently, I was nominated as a Very Inspiring Blogger, which was a huge honor. As part of this award, I was asked to reveal 7 things about myself that may not be generally known. This was actually a challenging assignment. I am quite verbose, and not shy about sharing my life. That being said, I tried to include only the things that are closest to my heart. Don't worry, I think I can clue you in in 10,000 words or less.
I am a Gluten Free Baker, working for a first-rate contract dining services company, on a small, private college campus. I've also been a Chef Instructor on a college level, but I really think of myself as a garden-variety cook.
Playtime for me is sledding in the winter, and pond swimming in the summer (I'm lucky enough to live in an area of the country that doesn't support water snakes or brain-eating amoebas). I also like to target shoot, fish, and ride my ATV (which I would prefer to be a horse, but it will do for now).
I am a wife to an amazing man who supports my whims and whimsies, and mother to 4 kids, 2 of whom are adults and living on their own. I will abandon anything, including work, to attend to my family's needs. Fortunately, they can all tie their own shoes and go to the bathroom by themselves, but it boosts my maternal street cred to imagine that they need me.
Since childhood, I've imagined myself as a Farmer. Along with my husband, I run a small -let's just say micro- farm. We focus on specialty crops like asparagus, berries, sunchokes and herbs. Last year, we raised our first crop of pigs, and will do so again this year (if it ever stops snowing), along with a flock of meat chickens. It is our ultimate goal to be self-sustaining; food, energy, and financially independent over the next several decades (should we be lucky enough to live so long).
I was raised by a mother who loved to cook, and passed the interest down to me. I can't remember a time in my life that I didn't love food. When I rise in the morning, I start thinking about what to make for dinner. As I finish one meal, I move on to planning the next. I love to eat food, photograph food, and grow food. Food food food!
I thought about listing my hobby of photography. But for me, photography is too light a description. I've had a camera in my hand since high school- even majoring in Photojournalism in college. I look at life through the vision of a camera lens. I keep a camera with me at all times, since you never know when the next amazing image will jump up in front of you. Nowadays, my cell phone camera gives me quite acceptable optics, which supplies me with an additional toy.
Even with heavy-duty pharmaceuticals, a good night's sleep can't be bought. As a commercial baker, I get up very early, which makes sleep even more important to me. I am lucky enough to have a very regular internal clock, which begins to lull me into drowsiness just after dinnertime. I will miss TV shows, phone calls, and chats with my husband, to adhere to my sleep routine. I love my big comfortable bed, with its many feather toppers that increase the cush-factor. I am an admitted sheet snob, and have been known to starch and iron my pillowcases.
Cat is an amazing writer of children's fiction, authoring two books, Sweet T and the North Wind, and Finding Fuzzy, A You Decide Tale. Cat is a talented Independent Author, who is a rich source of information and inspiration. Aside from her booming career as an Indie Author, Cat is an accomplished gardener and choir singer! Cat can be found on multiple social media sites, and is often present with upbeat feedback to bolster fellow writers in their journey.
Connect with Cat at http://ow.ly/J45yA
www.And Here We Are.net
This is perhaps one of my favorite Blogs to follow. Ariana is a lifelong traveler and celebrant of life. Like me, Ariana's world is driven by food and family. She administers her social media sites with intelligence, kindness and enthusiasm. Although she has several thousand followers, she responds to everyone as if they are old friends. She is an accomplished photographer and writer, and has recently published a beautiful cookbook, available on Amazon.com. (And Here We Are ~ At The Table, Grain free meals from around the world) She also a wife and mother, who documents daily life as an ExPat living in southern Spain; eating, writing, and treating us all to the beautiful images of her inspiring life.
Karen Emma Hall
As a new Indie Author, I've eagerly sought out the support and advice of those successfully navigating the waters of this challenging field. Kid Literature Authors' Karen Emma Hall is not just a mine of knowledge and networking, but a wellspring of joy and motivation through her beautiful artwork. Follow her at http://www.kidliteratureauthors.com/
Carmela works hard to keep the blogosphere a beautiful place. In addition to co-administering website Kid Literature Authors, she illustrates, and promotes her book series Lorenzo the Bear. She is an elementary school volunteer as well, but perhaps the brightest light comes from her blog, A Blog For Your Thoughts. Subject matter varies, but always succeeds in enlightening the reader, and making the world a better place!
Judith C. Francis Williams
Like many authors, Judith understands that writing is 10% writing and 90% editing! Saying of her writing journey, "I’ve tried the good ol’ fashioned pen and paper writing…however, pencils smudge and ink is permanent. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I spent more time erasing, ripping, tearing, and rewriting than anything! Hopefully, blogging – where, thanks to the backspace and delete keys, any booboos are a quick fix – will prove to be a more successful outlet! I write from the heart. Sometimes it’s happy. Sometimes it’s sad. But, this is my life and I’m doing my best trying to figure it all out – day by day." Judith shines an honest light into the blogisphere, keeping it beautiful by sharing her experiences in dealing with life, death and the savoring of each beautiful day.
The Elliot Family
As their blog description states, the Elliot family hosts over 20,000 followers who are also interested in farming, living sustainably, preserving food, raising kids and livestock- not necessarily in that order. For anyone trying to become more self-sustaining, The Elliot Homestead is a great source for information and motivation. I have learned a lot from the Elliot Family's blog, as well as gathered courage and fortitude; many of their posts address problems and issues we've had on our own farm. Its always nice to know you're not alone.