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.
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.