6 years ago, (Monday, February 18th, 2013 to be exact) I clicked on the “Publish…” button for the very first time here at The Mountain Kitchen. I hardly even knew what a blog was or how to run one, but it was the start.
A month prior I quit smoking after 22 years. For a solid month, I battled a terrible case of smoker’s flu. I physically ached and had chills all over my body. All those toxins from smoking were leaving my body at a very slow pace. My doctor told me I needed to focus my energy on something to take my mind off of smoking. Actually, I wished someone would have whopped me upside the head to give me amnesia, so I know how bad I wanted a cigarette.
I wanted to take my doctor’s advice into consideration, but what was I going to do?
I was always bugging people on Facebook by taking pictures of the dishes I had made. People on Facebook could have cared less about what I made for supper. Around that same time, a friend of mine commented on one of my Facebook posts that I needed to start a blog. I had no clue what a food blog was, how to operate a camera nor did I understand the endless depths of the food blogging industry. All I knew was that it was the perfect way to document my recipes and a way to share them with others.
David and I had just started Meatless Monday. The night of my first blog post I had made Spinach Feta Pizza at home for the first time. I was so excited about how the pizza turned out and I wanted to share it. It was a struggle, but I figured out WordPress enough to publish my very first blog post. It was a hideous post! We are talking green tinted photos and Greek dressing that looked like barf. But you know what? It was the start of great things to come.
I’ve always been left brained dominated with creativity and artistic ability. I fell into graphic arts in college and decided to make it my profession. For much of my career, I worked in prepress production. I can typeset, create page layouts, color correct photos and do all the necessary work on a publication before it is actually printed, cut, trimmed, folded and sometimes stitched. Or in my previous job, printed on fabric, or larger-than-life tiled boards for display at trade shows.
Over the last 10 years, I have watched the printing profession become a dying art. It’s not as classy as it once was nor do people take the pride in it that they once had. I feel like skilled professionals in the print production world are a dying breed. Please correct me if I am wrong! I want to be wrong! It has always amazed me how a dirty process of producing print turns into a beautiful piece of art in the end. Printing is a beautiful art form.
I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately and I compared my day to day duties with my best friend. She’s a school teacher and her calling was to reach children, mold them and shape their minds so that they can learn new things that will help them in their life moving forward. Something she can really be proud of. In comparison, at the end of the day, all I had helped to produce were graphics or printed images and words on things. Although printed media helps people communicate ideas, it has never really given me a sense of purpose.
It’s taken me six years to understand that blogging is my calling, my purpose. I enjoy helping people figure out what they are going to make for dinner for their family. It fascinates me that people from all the way on the other side of the world can visit our kitchen. Even if they don’t like a particular recipe I posted, my hope is that I can at least bring a smile to their face and give them a little something positive in their life for a moment.
Like graphic arts in college, I fell into this blogging gig oblivious to really knowing the opportunities that food blogging would unfold. Since day one, I immediately started making friends with people all over the world. Some of my best-good-friends are people I have never even met. That’s what I love most about blogging, the friends I have made along the way. Friendship is priceless. If I gain nothing else at least I have made life long friends along the way. For that I am grateful.
I recently did a reader’s survey with our subscribers. There seemed to be a common thread from the responses. Many said they loved how “down to earth” I am. I take that as the best compliment ever. Pardon my language, but no matter how hard you try, you cannot sugar coat shit, so why bother? I like honesty. As a blogger, I want to be honest with my readers. I’m not going to put sprinkles on top of a cupcake that tastes like a sponge. I don’t operate that way. Who lies to their friends anyway? Not me!
I really enjoy blogging. My hope is to keep doing this as long as somebody wants to hear what I have to say. My biggest regret is not realizing my purpose sooner. Perhaps if I had known then what I know now I could be blogging full time. Until that happens, I will continue to enjoy interacting with you and doing my best to provide you with good, wholesome recipes.
As always, Our wish for you is that you get a good laugh, learn something new and find something good to eat while you are here. Then take it and share it with the ones you love.
My posts are kind of quirky sometimes and my photos are far from perfect, but I have come a really long way. To all of you who keep coming back to TheMountainKitchen.com to see what David and I are doing up on this beautiful mountain overlooking Front Royal, Virginia: THANK YOU!
Thank you all for your support and above all, thanks for giving me a purpose.
You inspire me every day, girl. I am honored to have worked with you and to call you friend.
The Mountain Kitchen says
Kelly, the feeling is mutual! You were a bright spot at Signature Printing!
Debbie - MountainMama says
Mountain Sister, you are an inspiration to food bloggers everywhere!! I always enjoy my visits here, and have so many of your recipes pinned! I made your bleu cheese dressing and wedge salad the other night….YUMMM!! Keep doing what you do so well…..and share some more photos of that beautiful mountain of yours!
The Mountain Kitchen says
Thank you, Debbie! I Enjoy your company and I’m always envious of your cozy home on your mountain. I appreciate your friendship. Thank that beautiful daughter of yours for making our connection!
Elaine Mobley says
I love you, your blog and your photos!
The Mountain Kitchen says
I love you too, Elaine! I could really learn from your amazing photography skills! 😘
Guuurrrrrllllll – my heart strings! This makes me SO HAPPY to read. This for sure is your calling. You have a way of breaking through the “mold” of what a blogger is supposed to be with true personality and originality (there are so many copy-cats and fitting the mold bloggers out there) – you are a breath of fresh air. I look forward to reading your adventures and have SO loved our friendship. And let’s make that never met in real life a thing of the past if you guys ever hit Chicago again!!! Muah!
The Mountain Kitchen says
I really appreciate it, Annie. I’m so glad we have met digitally and would love to meet you in person! You are always welcome on the mountain girl! Believe me, we think about Chicago all the time. Let’s make it happen! Love ya! <3
Wow!!! I really enjoyed this blog and the 2nd monthly email I received today. You really have put the focus on being healthy….40 lbs gone, not smoking, lots of great recipes without going to recipes so healthy that they are tasteless. I think that is awesome. It took me much longer to lose about the same amount of weight (like years longer) but what finally helped me succeed was a focus on being healthier rather than trying to achieve some younger version of myself. Keep the great recipes coming, friend and we will keep trying new things.