“Mom, I had a nightmare.”

“What happened?”

“There were three little squirrels trying to claw their way under the covers.”

“That does sound scary. But don’t worry lady, we all have nightmares. I had one last night too.”

“What happened in yours?”

“Well, we’d just flown back from a family trip and were at home unpacking our bags…when I realized that we’d planned another family trip for that very same day. It was a huge rush to repack everything and get back to the airport. And on top of it all, I had to write a blog post.”

“Um….that was your nightmare?”

Yes, my dear, as you age, nightmares become less about monsters, more about things like perfectionism and overcommitment. But maybe that’s just me.


Fortunately I don’t have nightmares about the blog too often. And when I do, it’s not about the work that I have to do, but about the standard that I try to maintain. As I look back at earlier blog posts, it’s wonderful to see an evolution. Which, in a sense, is what keeps me going.

I’m my own biggest critic, so when I see improvements – whether it’s within the writing, or the photography – I become excited to do more. To write more, to take more pictures, to develop a style that feels distinctly my own.

I read an article in The New York Times that said that blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants. Causality seems clear. People get caught up in the metrics – their pageviews, unique visitors, press mentions, and number of social media followers. It can be frustrating when you’re not getting as much exposure as you think you should.

I know this from prior experience. I was spending hours each week throwing myself into this new hobby, which somewhere along the line became a legitimate job – taking pictures wherever I went; writing at odd hours of the night. And I wanted to know that people were reading it. If not, what was the point?

Recently I wrote about perspective. About shifting your view, even by an inch, and suddenly the world looks a whole lot different. Yes, I was talking about Starbucks and grits, but the rules still apply.

Year 2 was about taking this new perspective.



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chickenstock_feedmedearlyIf there ever was a discussion more fraught with angst and frustration in our household, it’s about chickens.

I’d say that I’m a bit thrifty when it comes to food. I touched on it briefly in my post about smart tactics for the kitchen, but truly, when it comes to throwing away perfectly good food, I just can’t do it. This of course doesn’t mean that I keep old food long past its prime. I’m a chucker once things run their course. But good food, perfectly usable? That’s a different story.

So our freezer is where good food goes to die. If there’s a leftover dish that we know we can’t eat because we’re out of town or we’ve eaten it for two days straight, into the freezer it goes.  Baguettes that were accidentally left out overnight? Freezer. And best of all, a chicken carcass or two, you know the drill.

The problem is that we live in New York City, so as much as I’d love to have a second freezer for all of my left over food, it ain’t gonna happen.

Our freezer runs out of space quickly, which results in chicken carcasses (carcii?) taking over whatever available space we have.

So we argue about bird bones.

Rodney, clearing the remains from a rotisserie chicken: “Are you done with this?”

Me: “I’m going to make a stock with it, stick it in the freezer.”

Rodney:  “We have 10 chickens in the freezer already.”

Me: “Put it in that little space where the ice comes out.”

Rodney: “You’re going to break the ice cube tray if you do that.”

Me: “That’s fine, I don’t use that thing.”

And truly, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t have ice cubes. For my Scotch-drinking husband, this is tantamount to losing power.

So the arguments continue: fresh stock vs. a broken fridge.

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