Here are five more hats I’ve worn or continue to wear.
#1 Self Employed Business Owner of Fresh Start a house cleaning and office cleaning business.
I started this business when we moved from California to Washington State while Dear attended the University of Washington to complete his degree and enter the School of Pharmacy. It was a successful business for the years he was in school and during his residency. Our sons were in elementary school at this time and our daughter was just 3 years old. My mother in law moved to Washington with us and she watched our daughter while I was cleaning during the day. I was usually home by the time our sons got home from school. At night Dear and I would clean a medical clinic and a dental clinic while our kids were asleep and Dear’s mother was home with them. This was a hat I was very happy to hang up when Dear got a full-time job in his new Pharmacy field. Dear was 40 when he completed his studies and got his first job at a biotech company in Seattle.
#2 Homeschool teacher for our daughter Katie.
When our daughter Katie was in fourth grade she began to show signs of stress and anxiety about school. We discovered she was being persecuted by several girls in her “gifted” class. We decided to pull her out of school and I homeschooled her for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. It was a good healing time for her and after these years she announced she was ready to go back to school for the 7th grade. The rest of her schooling went well and she finished strong including being a National Merit Scholar.
#3 Soccer Mom and avid Soccer Fan
My love for soccer/futbol began in the 80’s when our sons and daughter started playing on club teams and school teams. It escalated with the 1994 World Cup here in the United States. I took our sons to the training ground for the U.S.A. team and to their hotel and they were able to get autographs from all the players. We were able to go to a few of the games in Los Angeles and one game at Stanford. Currently we are season ticket holders for the Seattle Sounders. When in Milan, Italy I attended a game and in England we got the great experience of a Man U. game at Old Trafford.
We purchased these two Newsweek Magazines that were published during World Cup and the boys were able to get the player featured to autograph the cover. Later I had them framed.
Understanding the development of the plays on the field are key to enjoying soccer. I realize Soccer is boring for many but not me and I’m happy it’s getting more popular in the United States.
In March of 2007 my brother Steve
forced helped me start up a blog. I didn’t know how to upload, download, or attach anything. I didn’t know what a URL was. I was afraid to punch a publish button. Little by little, step by step, I learned some of the ins and outs of blogging. At the time I started blogging Dear and I were living in a condo in Camarillo, California. I had lots of time on my hands with a home I could clean in 45 minutes tops and no yard to bother with.
In February of 2008 I met my first bloggy friend in Camarillo, Willow from Willow’s Cottage. We met for coffee and after we figured out we were comfortable with each other we made a plan to start walking together. We walked 2 or 3 times a week for 1 hour until 2010 when Dear and I moved back to Washington State. Willow shared how she had been praying for a walking buddy. I still miss my great walking buddy, our conversations, our tea times, and the support we gave each other. You’ll find a link to Willow’s Cottage on my side bar. And I need to mention she’s a master knitter.
Bloggers I’ve met in person are Willow (California), Sara (California), Cori G! (California), Pondside (Vancouver Island), Jill (Utah), Ruth (California), and Wreathmaker (Millie) in Manitoba. Hope to meet more in the future.
#5 Cookbook Author with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook
This last hat is one of those surreal things that has happened to me because of blogging. While connecting to different blogs around the world I stumbled upon Lovella’s blog and noticed Paska (Russian Easter Bread) on her side bar. I wondered (note the name of my blog ~ The Happy Wonderer) why a Canadian who didn’t have a Russian name was baking Paska. Well come to find out this group of Canadian Mennonites had ancestors who settled in the Ukraine from Germany and through the years added Russian recipes to their heritage recipes and passed them down to their children. Lovella started a cooking blog and in time asked me to be a contributor to the blog since I am full blooded Russian and many of my mother’s recipes are the same as their mother’s recipes. In time our blog, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, became very popular and a publisher asked us to work on a cookbook for them to publish. The ten of us met all together face to face for the very first time to sign the contract for the book in September of 2010. Our first cookbook was published in May of 2011 and our second cookbook was published in Spring of 2013. All proceeds of our author royalties go to feed or help widows and orphans in the Ukraine and Africa and other countries. This was a decision the ten of us were most comfortable with.
The fun hasn’t stopped yet. We are now working on a Devotional with some recipes included. This book will be published later this year in time for a play (comedy) called Mennonite Girls Can Cook that hits the stage at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana. This one really caught us by surprise. More news on these events to follow.
Thank you for visiting and reading my hat posts. Hope you are all doing well. I just found out my neighbor Pat has stage 4 cancer (just diagnosed today). I caught her adult girls outside to ask if something was wrong with their mom. They shared with me about their mom’s diagnosis. Hug each other and love each other well. You never know what tomorrow brings.