Live Real. Eat Real.

The Spiderman Blankie

Once upon a time, boys and girls, this was a personal blog.  It came into being in February 2008 and contained photos and amusing stories of my family and dog, with a few recipes thrown in for good measure.  It had a small, but devoted, following and it made me very happy.

Then, in 2010, we discovered The Real Food Movement and the paleo diet and this blog morphed into a full-blown food blog.  The readership grew by leaps and bounds and before I knew it I was receiving more than 60,000 visitors a month.  It began to take more and more of my time; I started running ads and worrying about my stats, the quality of my food photography and why did that person unsubscribe??  Things like being unable to come up with an acceptable paleo version of zucchini bread were serious blows to my self esteem.  Taking a day off, much less an entire month, was unthinkable and I became increasingly stressed about it.  The blog became more and more like a second (poorly paying) job rather than the happy hobby it had been in the beginning.

After 3 years it just became too much, and in the summer of 2013 the frequency of my posting took a serious nose-dive.  How we ate had taken another turn and we’d begun incorporating more traditionally prepared grains and legumes back into our diet, along with the occasional out-and-out flour-and-sugar-laden dessert, and I didn’t feel like my readers would care for those recipes.  The absence of pressure to post something 5 days a week, without fail, that my readers would find interesting and relevant, came as something of a guilty relief.

In recent months, I’ve seriously considered abandoning this blog all together.  In a way, it would be a relief.  But then I think about all of the things I enjoy about it and I find myself really reluctant to just drop it.  So, I think I’m going to go back to how it was in the beginning – if I have something I want to post about, rather than something I think someone else wants to read, I’ll do it.  If not, I won’t.  I’ll still post recipes – many will be paleo friendly (it’s still the basis of our diet), but some won’t.  If you don’t like them, don’t read them (and certainly don’t make them).

At any rate, one of the things I’ve started doing, since the blog no longer takes up all of my free time, is crocheting.  I know, I know – it’s a little old lady pastime.  Well, I have news for you: at 51, I’m beginning to edge toward little old lady territory.

I used to crochet when I was much, much younger (I learned as a teenager), but it never really progressed much beyond long straight rows of double crochet and granny squares; I never learned to read a pattern.  But last year, I got a bee in my bonnet to make Oldest Son an afghan…so I did.  I had no idea what I was doing – if only I’d known about seamless joins, magic knots, weaving in ends and Fray Check – so I’m pretty sure it’s going to come unraveled, sooner rather than later (if it hasn’t already), but I was pleased to have been able to give it to him for Christmas.

Since then, I’ve made an effort to really learn and I’ve quickly gotten much better.  I’ve made an afghan for Jolly as a housewarming present, a bedspread for our California King and have nearly finished another afghan (a surprise for a friend) and a winter scarf for Beloved.  I also made this.

The Spiderman Blankie

Click the image to enlarge

This made one little boy VERY happy.  When I finally finished it and posted the photo on Facebook, Jolly saw it and showed it to our G Man (who had been waiting quite impatiently for it); he insisted they come over and get it right this minute!  They took a long weekend road trip recently to Niagara Falls and I was told he hauled it along with him.

Meema haz a pleased. ;)

For those that might be interested, you can find the free pattern here.  I used an H/8 hook (5.5mm for the metrically inclined, or a #6 for any UK or Canadian readers).  It took 4 skeins each of Red Heart Cherry Red and Blue Suede (which I felt was more appropriate for a Spiderman blankie than bright red and blue), and one skein of black, and was just over 5 feet in diameter.

So, there you go.  Beloved’s garden, preserving, fermenting, recipes, crochet projects and decorated cakes.  Those are the things I’m spending my time on when I’m not at work, so those are the things I’m going to blog about whenever the mood strikes me.  Stay along for the ride, if you like.

 


9 comments

OK, you really are my sistah from anothah mothah (or however you spell it speaking in that manner…heh!) How fortuitous that you post this post in regards to taking your blog back to how it was in the beginning – I was just talking to the hubby yesterday about how I want to go back to the way things were in the beginning with my blog, too – it was way more fun back then. So I’m right there with you! You GO!

And that spiderman blankie? Still ahhhh-mazing!! :) I used to crochet all the time, too – but like you, always straight lines and rectangles. I made a boatload of scarves when I was a teen, but it’s been years since I’ve crocheted anything. I did pick up some crochet needles and yarn a while back, but haven’t been inspired. Winemaking, however, is going to pick up steam really really soon – I’m making a dent in all these darn moving boxes, and soon I’ll have the room to create again! :)

Oh crap, this long-winded comment has turned into a ‘me me me’ moment. Sorry about that – I’m just SO EXCITED you’ll be returning to your roots and entertaining us with your wit again. Not that you weren’t entertaining with your wit along with recipes and such (and I still make several of them because they’re awesome!) but it’ll be like getting together with an old friend again, and it seeming like no time has passed. :)

Um yeah – can you tell I’m excited you’ll be blogging again? I’m sticking around for the ride for sure! :)

VandyJ says:

I’m excited too. I have missed the bloggers I read when I started out blogging. It will be nice to stop by for a visit again. Not that the recipes weren’t good, but I like the newsy, fun blogs too.

Lisa says:

Oh I’ve always read you for the voice as much as anything. And how odd that you and I are pivoting like this at the exact same time. My blog had gotten biggish too, and the style posts were coming fast and furious, and I was monetizing (albeit never a lot) and then I retired and *newsflash* I didn’t wear much besides flannel pajamas and shorts any more and I didn’t want to:). I realized it was either quit the blog or find some way to write that I enjoyed, just as you have.

I’ve decided to inflict my very amateur home decor journey on those readers who remain:). I didn’t want to stop writing, so, this is where we stand.

I will read everything you write. You’re good at it. Solidarity – We Write As We Please:).xoxoxox.

Nessa says:

Half the paleo blogs I used to follow have been deleted from my favorites because someone’s blog takes off, and they begin doing tons of book reviews and cookbook writing and then cookbook promoting. Their blogs become less about how they embrace paleo and more about selling/making money. I appreciate that your blog didn’t ever descend into that, and I appreciate that the way you eat has changed over time into something that’s manageable and doable and enjoyable to YOU. You were never a snotty perfectionist, and I appreciate that about your blog. I’ll still be checking in regularly to keep up. Besides, I learn so much from the “life posts” as well, like what an ombre cake is! :)

Be says:

I think it’s great that your ease off a bit and have fun with it. It will always be there to pick up and is an amazing resource for great recipes. If you recall, even that started as a way to pass down some of your favorite recipes to the kids.

I love the blanket and know G-man does too. Maybe it will replace his “golden pillow” as his security blanket.

BTW, it did not go unnoticed that you slid a recipe into this post after all – for the Spiderman blanket. You can’t help yourself, can you?

Duchess says:

I enjoyed the recipes, but I liked it best when it was about you. Welcome back!

Mamabadger says:

Welcome back. I missed you a lot. I miss the days when we all blogged about nothing and stuff. When Gman and little o were, well, little.

That afghan is incredible. And if I can motivate myself out from under little miss, Gman’s counterpart might find one under the tree for him this year.

Linda says:

I’m so glad I’m not the only one whose ‘gotten over’ their own blog. I’ve never had the readership you have but I enjoyed writing about Life in general and have been told I can even be witty. After retiring a year ago April I just didn’t feel like my life was that interesting, LOL! Although now I am almost too busy to even blog about it anyway :) And if you are slipping into ‘old lady-dom’ by picking up crocheting, then at 53, I’m ready for the rocking chair. I’ve crocheted since I was 12, picked up knitting a couple years ago about the same time I purchased a spinning wheel to spin my own yarn. Kids are so much fun to make stuff for! Don’t you just love it when you make a blanket and see that it actually gets used/loved/appreciated? Linda

Suzanne says:

I love you whatever you post. Of course, I’m biased towards the personal stories because I love to hear them. This blanket is awesome and makes me want to crochet again. Yes, I used to crochet. Pre-accident. I might be able to do it again because my hand works even though my arm does not. I hope you post for yourself … always. 😊

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