It's funny how typed words on a screen can affect your day, isn't it? Some blogs cheer us or inspire our creativity, stirring up excitement whenever we read them. Others inspire us to take action, make changes or try something new.
Today's Featured Friday blogger is all that...but a little something different too.
Definitely inspiring, Jodi's writing slows us down and reminds us to take note of the little things that matter: baskets of yarn waiting to be made into afghans, sweet sleeping dogs who know just when to rest their head in your lap and watching the sunset year 'round on a quiet lake.
We asked Jodi a few getting-to-know-you questions for today's feature...enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live.
I always wanted to be a mom and have lots of kids swirling around me. But, I don't think I could handle more than the three I have -- they keep me so busy. I work as a vice president at a financial institution and from the minute I get home until when my head hits the pillow, I'm usually doing something with or for my kids. Just recently, I've started to take more time out for me.
My oldest child went off to college in August and my daughter's a senior in high school. My youngest is in seventh grade. They are very involved in school activities. My husband works long hours, sometimes nights and weekends. It was great when the kids were little because we never needed daycare. It's harder now because someone's always on the go (which means I'm on the go too).
When I'm not running them around, I love *really love* puttering around my house or crafting or cooking.
I live in a small village in Central New York -- which is a wonderful area to raise a family because it's close to the Adirondack Mountains, yet close to cities. It's the best of both worlds.
What originally inspired you to start blogging?
My mother is such a talented crafter, I figured maybe I had inherited a crafting gene. I tried my hand at crocheting and quilting and I loved both. Sadly, few of my nearby friends share these interests. Then I started reading crafty blogs. I realized there was this whole network out there -- mostly women who support and encourage and inspire. I knew I had to be a part of it so I started my blog.
What was the best thing to happen so far because of your blog?
The best thing is the friendships I've made. I know it sounds strange because I don't really "know" these women, but we've been connecting through comments and e-mails for a long time now and I do consider them my friends. They all have such varied interests -- books, cooking, children, gardening, crafting. Truly, my days are so enriched by the give and take, the sharing and the feedback.
As a busy mom of three talented kids, how do you find time to write and take photos to share?
I am distracted by my blog at times. I love reading the comments and I love learning what my blogging pals are up to. But when my kids entered junior high, they started doing their own things -- joining clubs, teams, musical groups, etc. There were times when I felt like I was nothing more than a driver at their beck and call. No one wanted to stay home and hang with me. So, I knew I had to find my way and develop my own interests.
In college, I majored in magazine journalism so I was confident in my writing ability. The photography is a bit of a challenge. I take lots of pictures and delete most of them because they're pretty bad. I just carve out time to blog whenever I can because it's important to me.
We love the recipes you share and your afghans and quilts are beautiful too. So, which came first, kitchen creativity or your crafty skills?
Definitely kitchen creativity came first -- but that was out of necessity (hey -- we have to eat!). I'm not really a daring cook. I pretty much follow directions and experiment only a little bit. My kids are fussy eaters so when I find a recipe that works, I stick with it. Lately, I've been cooking more for me and I'm much more conscious of what I cook. This past summer, I joined a CSA and I've been loving the wide variety of vegetables. Some have had me stumped -- but thank goodness for the Internet. There's always a recipe out there worth trying.
In my kitchen, we never run out of...
Care to share a favorite recipe?
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mini-chocolate chips
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. When well mixed, add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix until just combined. Add the chips. Spoon the muffin mixture into lined tins, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Pie or cake? Cookies or fudge?
Pie and cookies (but I never, ever
buy store-bought cookies -- it's
homemade or nothing).
Aside from family, friends and that sweet dog of yours, what are 5 things you just can't live without?
1. My crochet hook
2. My stashes (yes that's plural and it applies to my yarn and fabric collections)
3. The Adirondacks and the lake where we have our camp
4. My piano (it's very old, a little out of tune, but it's like family -- actually, it's been in the family for nearly 90 years)
5. And, living where there are four, distinct seasons
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
Oh my. It seems like this should be something really juicy, but I'm really an open book. I am what I am. I'm 45 years old. I love my family. I'm happy with where I'm at in life. I guess people may be surprised that I wanted to work for the Boston Globe and report on international political affairs -- because these days, I'm in a completely different field and I rarely venture too far from home.
Wow! We're sure glad you're writing your blog instead of for the Globe, Jodi! Thanks for sharing with us today. Keep writing and we'll keep reading!
Buzz on over to The Jolly Bee and introduce yourself today...we know you'll enjoy your stay!