Yesterday, while baking, blogging and totally making over Little Miss' bedroom, I received a lovely surprise. I saw a Tweet entitled "Gratitude" by a dear gal who Tweets under the moniker Eating Niagara. An ardent local booster and supporter of much good food, I try to keep caught up with her blog as often as I can. During a little down time while something was either baking or cooling, I clicked the link. It was a post about the Lovely Blog Award, which she'd received a nomination for. I'd never heard of it, but apparently it's a pay-it-forward token of appreciation for bloggers from people who enjoy what you do.
As I read down through the post, enjoying learning some fun things about T. that I didn't know, I got to the blogs she was nominating. Definitely some great ones there. A few I need to start following myself, actually. Then I saw it. "A Single Step." What? My little blog, among all these amazing ones? Really? I was stunned. And so humbled. This blog started as a a rather indulgent way to capture my thoughts and feelings about life, and has sort of evolved into a blog which is largely about food, and, if you piece it together, my journey towards being more mindful about supporting local businesses and farms. For it to be a place on the web that others enjoy reading and being a part of is more than I'd hoped for.
So in the spirit of the nomination, and in accordance with the rules, I am going to share some facts about me that some of you may not know. Then I am going to go through the blogs I enjoy and nominate some. To avoid duplication, I suggest you take a look at the Eating Niagara blog post for an already wonderful list.
1. While I always wanted to be a Mom and have something like half a dozen kids, it took us 6 years before our son was born. His sister came along 3 years later and we decided we were done. We were both in our mid-thirties by that point and honestly my body does not do pregnancy well. Where once I thought I wanted a house full of kids, I now see that these two can be more than a house full! LOL And I love being a Mom more than I ever imagined!
2. My mother did all the cooking in our home. Her grandfather came to Canada from Italy and her "5-day" pasta sauce was a special Christmas dinner treat. Several kinds of meat, simmered in a rich tomato sauce for 5 days until it was dark and acidic. But beyond that it wasn't her who inspired my "foodiness." It was my father, who actually has a very limited menu of things he'll eat (meat, potatoes, corn... not much else). But he enjoys looking at, learning about and talking about different foods. He was a truck driver and would travel to Texas often. And then he'd come back and tell me about regional foods he'd come across (but never tried, of course).
3. I like ironing. Really. I don't mind doing it at all. Though we really don't have much in the way of clothes that need to be ironed. We're really a jeans and t-shirt family. I don't own a single skirt, and the only dress I have was the one I wore to my sister's wedding last year. I hate folding and putting away laundry, but not as much as I hate unloading the dishwasher.
4. I have been a foodie my whole life. As a young child I remember seeing caviar in a store and being impressed. Why, at 5 or so, did I know what caviar was? Probably because I watched the few cooking shows that existed on 70's T.V in Canada (Celebrity Cooking with Bruno Gerussi anyone?) When Food Network launched I would ask friends with cable to put it on in the background so that I could indulge. Getting satellite TV blew my culinary mind!
5. I do have interests outside of food. It's just that food is what I'm most passionate about. I love homeschooling because there is a whole world of things out there for me to learn as I teach the kids. My faith is important to me as well. And I enjoy learning. I mostly read non-fiction and magazines. I read very little fiction.
6. I fancy myself to be crafty. I'm not, but I keep trying. I like browsing crafting blogs for inspiration. Some day I'll learn to use my sewing machine.
7. My dream home would be on a nice sized piece of land, with geo-thermal heating, solar and wind power, with a lovely wood stove in the kitchen, pizza oven outside, and a fireplace in the family room. There would be a balcony off the master bedroom, and in the shade under it would be a space for those hanging hammock chairs. I would have a nice kitchen, with a "summer kitchen" outside specifically for canning and baking and such without heating up the house. And I'd have a room with no electrical outlets, data jacks or even wi-fi reception. A real retreat space to go and "unplug."
Now that you know a bit more about me, take a look at these blogs I'm nominating. I imagine they'll tell you even more.
365 Days to a New Me - I've known Dawne for some years now, and I have to give her props for being so gutsy as to start a blog documenting her planned weigh loss. As one who has always struggled with my weight, Dawne's blog both fascinated and horrified me. What if it didn't work out? What if she didn't do it this time? What if..... But Dawne left the "what ifs" by the wayside and over the course of the past year has changed her life so completely that she's quite literally a new woman. A healthy one, dedicated to making the most of her life. She's been a real inspiration.
Around My Family Table - I found this one recently, through a message board, if I'm not mistaken. Great recipes and a lovely person behind them.
Life Nurturing Education - Renae Deckard is a home schooler who inspires me. Her blog is full of wonderful information and charming posts about the real life of a home school family.
Seasonal Ontario Food - What more need I say? The name says it all. And the recipes look so good!
Food in Jars - A recent discovery, this blog is all about canning. And I am really getting into canning, so this is a joy to read. I have found so much inspiration already. Can't wait until we're really rolling in the fruits and veggies!
Living Life With Food - My friend Jenn is such a creative woman. She decided a while ago to change the way she approached cooking, and specifically baking, to make delicious treats healthier for her family. This blog is the result of that and her desire to share what she's learned with others.
My Life I Live - Similar to mine, this is a blog about a journey. Hillary is a wife and mom who is finding her voice, and I'm looking forward to reading where the journey takes her.
Why Not Train a Child - Not for the faint of heart, this blog takes a hard look at child abuse under the guise of Christian faith, and offers many guest posts about alternatives to punitive parenting. As a Mom of two young children, this blog speaks to my heart to see children raised to choose what's right because they've learned how to discern that for themselves, not because they're afraid of being hit. One approach changes the heart, the other only the behaviour. And to me that just isn't good enough. Or what Christian parents are called to.