Hello good friends! Welcome new readers!
I recently decided that my “about” page was a little lackluster. While yes, it describes my intentional food life and the mission of this blog, it doesn’t really help you get to know me. The whole thing is getting a thorough revision. Did you see my new page yet? Because let’s be real, as much as I try and maintain the focus of this blog, it’s not just about the food that I cook and the vegetables I grow in my garden. It’s about me and the experiences and lessons I’ve learned that have had such an influence over what I do in life and the posts I write. So, it might be helpful to have a little more background information. Plus, I got to have a super fun photo shoot, which I’ll get to later, and I want to show you a few of the photos. So, indulge me with this tangent for just this once. Ok?
For real this time.
I am a doer. I have a vivid imagination and crazy internal motivation to bring my ideas to fruition. I sometimes have trouble sleeping because my mind just won’t quit. I started jotting ideas down in a notebook thinking that may help, but I’m still a restless sleeper. I’m working on that. I jump out of bed with boundless energy. I don’t drink coffee. Strange, I know. I get really excited about things and go full-throttle â€“ totally immersing myself in whatever new passion it may be. And then, about a year or two later, I get bored and move on to the latest thing that is inspiring me. Except, of course, for a few activities (a-hem, like the things I write about on this blog).
This blog is proof of that very description. I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, got all fired up about what I learned from that book, and was driven by that passion to make some huge life changes that I still live by today. I started going to the farmers’ market to supplement my bounty andÂ stopped buying processed food. If I can make it from scratch, I don’t buy it. I’ve been baking a loaf of bread just about every weekend since I started living this intentional food life. Last year, I started raising chickens for eggs and I like to give them old biddy names and names that were inspired by the Muppets. And yes, someday I’ll eat them too. I’ve never killed anything in my life â€“ never hunted, never fished, but I’ve made a pact with myself that one day, I will learn how to humanely slaughter and clean them myself. And if I find that I can’t, I’ll be a vegetarian again.
My mom majored in Home Ec. Yes, that was a major once. She was a working mother, but she had some serious homemaking skills. And I’m just now realizing what an amazing influence that had on my life and how I now spend my time. Thanks to her, I know how to sew a straight line and really don’t have to think too hard about how to throw together a pillow or some curtains. I bake. When I was in college, I spent some Christmas money on a Kitchenaid of my own, one of her most trusted tools. It’s classic white, just like hers.
My mom took a lot of pride in her decorating style. Her favorite was a southwest theme. You know, mauve, taupe, coyote silhouettes. We lived in Arizona, after all. We differ in style here, but the way things were put together is the same â€“ attention to detail and coordination. This was so frustrating as an adolescent. Especially on big cleaning days, my sister and I would grumble, “Mom! We don’t live in a model home! Geez!” I get it now. I am so that way.
My artistic nature and sense of color, now that comes from my dad. When I was three, I won a $50 savings bond for a picture I drew of stick people. I earned more money from winning coloring contests than I ever did from allowance. The $10 contests were always the easiest. I remember, four years old, sitting at the kitchen table diligently working on a coloring contest drawing of Santa in a living room. My dad, with his hot rod style roots, taught me to color in the flames in the chimney so they blended from yellow to orange to red. I think gluing the little piece of cotton onto the end of Santa’s hat was my idea though. I nailed that win. I remember being a bossy kindergartner, teaching my classmates to color inside the lines. I wonder what a therapist would say about that. It is with that kind of reckless abandon that I approach the world. I like organized chaos. That’s probably why I’m a square foot gardener. I’m good at growing food inside the lines.
I didn’t grow up in a stay-at-home parent family and since I was the oldest child, I naturally fell into the role of second mother and homemaker. I cooked and cleaned and made sure my little sister did her homework, even though she totally resented me for it at the time. And somehow, even though I was thrust into that role at an early age, I still love the craft of homemaking and wholeheartedly embrace it. I’m still amazed by that. I think the instability that I sometimes felt growing up and the fact that we moved so much caused me to want to plant some roots and see them grow. I’m starting to understand that that’s probably why I took a risk and bought a house so young (I was 24 at the time), not just because I was working for a real estate agent, as I tell people. I have a nagging instinct to create a warm and cozy place that I can retreat to, a home. I will have owned my home for nine years in November and as I recently told someone who is about to embark on his own homeowner’s journey, there is nothing more kick ass than being able to use a saw or a drill to complete your own home improvement project. And there’s no better way to learn patience than by slowly, but surely transforming your space into a place you’d like to be.
So thank you for being here. Knowing you’re reading makes my life even more inspired.
An aside about these amazing photographs:
I recently splurged (thanks, Groupon!) and had a professional portrait session with an amazingly creative and talented photographer, Jenn Ireland. I wanted her to take some photographs of me in my garden. If it wasn’t for that Groupon, I probably would have never done this. It is just not something single women do. You get professional photos when you graduate from high school, get engaged, get married, or have a family. But get pictures of, gasp, just you? That seemed unheard of, selfish and a little vain. When I saw the Groupon and got the idea to get some blog pictures taken, I actually felt the need to consult with some really close friends. Should I do this? Would that be weird? Obviously, I did. And it was an amazing experience. Turns out, I’m confident enough to have some pictures taken, even if I don’t have a significant other or children to warrant the occasion. I’ve captured year 32 of my life and I’m so glad I did. And seriously, if you need some awesome photography of your own, give Jenn a try. She’s the best!