Saturday, 9 August 2014

Saturday ponderings . . .

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I read an article recently about hobbies and I began to think to myself that all I was, was a hobbiest.  That everything I do is somewhat of a hobby and, whilst I do most things fairly well . . .  I don't do any of them well enough for them to be considered "professional."

This was more than a little disconcerting.   I have many fingers in many pies, but which pie to me is the tastiest pie, or the pie I wish to have the most fingers in???

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Of course I love to cook.  I don't think that fact would come as a great surprise to anyone, and my food blog is a passion of mine.  I spend a great deal of time picking and choosing what I want to cook and showcase on it, taking the photographs, etc.  During my early food blog days  (I'm ashamed to admit) I harboured the secret desire that it would lead to me having a cookery book published of my own, which had long been a dream of mine.   I was probably one of the earliest "food" bloggers, starting first on AOL Journals and then moving over here to Blogspot to Oak Cottage, and then to The English Kitchen which was dedicated totally to all things foodie.  When I first started on AOL Journals I realized that the posts which got my readers most excited were the ones which were about food or contained a recipe.   That was when I became a food blogger, because those were the posts which excited me also.

Well, here I am twelve years later and I am still blogging about food.   My blog isn't as sophisticated as some.  I lack the technological skill to make it so and I think to be  truly considered a success at it, you have to have a lot of technological skill and where-with-all to pull it off really well.  And whilst  I work very hard at what I do, it never comes across as that great when compared to most other food blogs out there.

But I will always do it, even though I never ever really will be considered a "success" at it, because at the end of the day, success or not . . .  I love doing it.  It is still my passion.   I have come to accept that I will probably never have a real cookbook published, other than the little cookbooklets which I
publish myself.  And that's okay.

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And then there is my artwork.  Another "hobby" of mine.   A very expensive hobby.  Art supplies cost the bomb.  Anything to do with the creative arts does.   I think I was born with a pencil in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.  I always wanted to be an artist.   (As well as a wife and mom)  Other girls may have dreamed of becoming ballerinas or teachers or nurses . . .  I wanted to be an artist and a writer.

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And I don't think I do badly at any of it.   I think I am a passable artist and a passable writer . . . but are they much more than a hobby for me?   I have tried really hard to make them more than a hobby, and whilst I have gained a small modicum of success . . .  it's never been much more than a hobby, and trying to sell it has been a hobby which has only ever cost me money, instead of it being the other way around.  But again . . .  like the cooking and the food blogging, it is a passion of mine, and I will never stop doing it . . .  because it is as much a part of who I am as breathing or feeling.  If I stopped doing it . . . it would be like cutting off my arm.

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I love taking photographs of nature . . .  flowers, insects, butterflies, bees . . .  frogs, Mitzie.  I love playing with them after I take them.  Editing, cropping, etc. . . . but again, I lack the technological where-with-all to be really good at it.  I only play at it and dabble with it. But I have fun with it and I love to do it and so I guess that is what counts.  That is the one hobby I have that doesn't cost me anything but my time!  Grateful for that!

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The one thing I have been really successful with is making dolls and selling them.   I've sold every doll I have ever made, so that is a good thing.   Perhaps I need to make some more.  They are very time consuming, but a bit of love does go into every stitch and each is very unique.  All I ever do though is break even when I make one and sell it.   I don't have the courage to ask for more than I do for one of them.  But, so long as I at least make back what I have spent, that is what counts. 

Maybe that is all I am meant to be . . .  a dabbler in the arts.   A hobbiest.

If I had to choose just one of them . . .  what would I choose?   Which of my loves and passions could I give up?   Hmmm . . . I just don't know.   I think when it comes right down to it . . . I would love to be writing/illustrating/cooking/inspiring.

So maybe an illustrated cookery book of some inspiration is in order.   Watch this space.

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Oh boy, was I ever tired by the time I got home last night.   On my feet all day cooking.  I think I retired from that lark at the right time.   It's a young woman's game.   We cooked at the youth camp yesterday and there were 4 of us doing it full time and two others that came and went at key points.   There were about 120 altogether to cook for.   We did savoury mince, baked potatoes, a vegetarian pasta bake, jelly and custard and cookies for for dessert.  It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun.   I think the best part was being with the other ladies and preparing everything together.  By the time I got home I was exhausted and last night I slept the sleep of the dead!

I think today we are going to take our girl out to do some sightseeing in the countryside!  The sun is shining so it's the perfect day!

A thought to carry with you through the rest of today . . .  

 "Thou crownest the year with thy goodness . . . 
and the little hills rejoice on every side.
The folds shall be full of sheep;
the valleys also shall stand so thick with corn
that shey shall laugh and sing."
~Psalm 65:11-13 ✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..  

I think ths psalmist must have been writing about August when he wrote that! 

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . .  Chocolate Meringue Cake.  Double jeapordy for Todd, but heavenly bliss to the Missionary Sisters. 

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Happy Saturday!!    


  1. It is such a lovely way to start my day...reading your blog...I never know just what I am going to be reading/seeing/learning !! All your hobbies are so interesting and you are so talented. I don't know why it is that you have not been snapped up by some publishers for your lovely written wors and illistrations...I just love love your CD that I got for PAm and I pray that you may get a liitle back in royalties from that to at least maybe buy some inks etc. everything is so expnsive. I can never understand why it is that peole will pay an awful lot o fmoney for a manufactured "thing" be it sewn, or knitted, or things like your crads...I gave up a very long time ago making things for church sales etc. as people would not even pay for the cost of the materiels and that makes me really angry. Even my Pam seels her cards at 50p....yes 50p..hand made with love and yet in teh shop almost next door they will pay £1.99 !!! makes no sense....Anyway one day love you will be recognised I keep praying for that...I hope that you have a lovely day today and that your girl enjoys herself. Does she not have any friends yet at the did say she wa straining idnt you...or hav eI got that wrong !!...however whatever you do enjoy the lovely sun and warm day ahead...
    love to Tod and Mitzie xx

  2. Marie enjoy your day out and about. I am sure yesterday was very tiring.

    Please don't sell yourself short. You were a cook at the manor and if you were not good I doubt you would have stayed long. So I rate you as a cook. I log your artwork too. It has its own style and charm. Many never achieve that. Sadly women's work is rarely paid well and creative or caring work doesn't seem to rate much either. It is sad statement about our values as a society.

    I am feeling a little ho hum. Why have I chosen this course because I know care workers get very little. I think the main attraction is free tuition until the end of 2015.

    God bless Marie.

  3. Like you I dabble in many things and I love it all but I'm no professional at any of it. What is important I think is that we love what we do. Hope you have a super Saturday and enjoy showing off the sights to your visitor.

  4. No..You have got it all wrong.
    I am a hobbyist jack of some trades.
    You my dear EXCEL at everything.
    You write beautifully..have so many memories..
    You paint beautifully..stitch beautifully and cook and bake perfectly.
    There is nothing less that just right.You have found your style of painting..etc..
    I promise are not a dabbler.
    You are an accomplished artist in every endeavour you do.
    Vraiment.. !
    I bet you were tired..but fulfilled!

  5. I was very tired yesterday and loved being with the other ladies. Some of the kids annoyed me because they were being kids and you would not believe the number which turned up their noses at the food, or brought back plates half eaten, or only wanted bread and cheese. Kids! Who'd have em! Me of course! haha

    Thanks all for your very kind words ref my art and other hobbies. I love doing it, I just wish that for the amount of time I put into it all I could see some viable return. Maybe one day. I am working on it!

    Had a lovely day with our nurse. She is not a student after all, but a working nurse. We must have misunderstood. She is a nice girl and it will be nice to have her around. We are enjoying her very much! xxoo

  6. Marie, it is awesome to me that you have so many interests that you not only enjoy but also are talented in. Your comment about 'an illustrated cookery book of some inspiration' sounds very Susan Branch-ish to me, and we know how well her work has been received! I would encourage you to give that idea serious consideration, and perhaps look into self-publishing?

    Sharon in Alabama

  7. Sorry Marie! I so disagree with you on this one. Firstly, you are a success! Okay, so you haven't had your illustrated cookbook published YET! Never say never is my motto. I believe this will happen for you because 1.) Your recipes are the ones that call my name more than on any other blog or cookbook. You always make things that are SO GOOD, nothing crazy. I would make every single recipe of yours. I can't say that about any other cookbook. I am not fabricating this either. It's true! 2.) Secondly, you are a fantastic illustrator. Very versatile. You could very easily draw your own illustrations that would also be the crowning glory in the cookbook. I see this happening for you. Perhaps it's just getting in touch with the right people. There is nothing mediocre about anything you do and you deserve to be published with the people that have succeeded in doing so already.
    I'll get off my soap box now! ;-) Hope you rested up a bit after all the camp cooking! Love ya lots! xoxo

  8. Thanks Sharon. Susan is my muse of course along with Mary Englebreit and Karla Dornacher and Marjolein Bastin! (Hence the gold finch above. I Love painting birds.)

    Oh Val, what can I say. You are such a dear friend. Love you lots too. Still exhausted after camp, but good exhausted. xxoo

  9. Marie, I think you are a professional in every area you do things in. I marvel at your cooking blog and all the wonderful recipes you put on there.
    Your art is one of my favorites of all times.
    You are an excellent writer and always inspire me.
    You are just such a wonderful Sister and I feel so fortunate to know and love you and I do hope to meet you some day.
    Blessings, love and hugs for you!

  10. Thank YOU LeAnn. I hope to meet you one day as well! Love you! xxoo


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!