Comfort Hobbies


Depending on where you live, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “comfort food.” For my husband, it’s a plate of melted Gouda with crackers. I particularly gravitate toward Italian dinners (and I rarely turn down chocolate) when I’m stressed. Give me a garlic roll or a piece of pizza and I’m ready to tackle my next project. Another phrase featuring comfort is “comfort zone.” Personally I can handle a writing convention with hundreds of other writers, but you won’t usually find me at a hot yoga class although I really admire those who love that particular activity. And this made me think about "comfort hobbies." My mother-in-law can take scraps of material and create beautiful quilts. When my mother was alive, she enjoyed crocheting and made several afghans. I’ve tried to branch out into both of those hobbies. One time I was at a quilting bee at a high school where a home economics teacher, who’d taught many students how to use a sewing machine, tried to teach me. I broke three needles. After the third, she said I might do better helping with the refreshments. Another time I was at a retreat where women who knitted beautiful shawls were teaching beginners like myself how to knit. Three experienced knitters all came to me with a determined gleam in their eye that they would be the one to teach me to cast off and all three shook their head as they walked away as I couldn’t figure out how to knit. And you know what? It’s okay. I’m never going to be a knitter or quilter, but I do get to “ooh” and “ahh” over other people’s finished products. But this led me to think about what are my “comfort hobbies?” 

Classic movies. I am your person on some future trivia night about classic movies from the 1930s and 1940s. I love screwball comedies from this era, especially the ones with Rosalind Russell and Irene Dunne spouting witty dialogue as they portrayed newspaper reporters, judges, and romance writers. In Theodora Goes Wild, Irene Dunne plays a mild-mannered woman who uses a pseudonym and catches the world by storm when her romance novel becomes a bestseller. Watching funny movies is one of my “comfort hobbies.”





Baking. My husband usually beats me to the springform pans or Bundt cake pans, but I also love to bake. My grandmother made the best apple pie. Even now, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg always takes me back to her home. While I don’t have the light hand with pie crust like she did, I do bake cookies. I love the whir of the beaters and the smell of the kitchen. And I especially love the finished product! This was one of the cupcakes my twins and I baked for my husband's birthday in July. 




Walking. While some may not consider this a hobby, I love day hikes and walks. The University of Georgia (my college alma mater) required PE credits for graduation when I attended, and I chose the walking class (much to the delight of a friend of mine who attended rival Georgia Tech). I still remember having three different routes for the three days of the week, and I remember throughout the quarter forming a story inside my head and adding to the story with every step. It took me a while to transfer those stories to paper, but I credit those walking classes for giving me a way to brainstorm story ideas. 



And, of course, for me there's always opening a good book and reading. What about you? Are you a gardener? An artist? A birdwatcher? What hobbies have kept you busy over the past few months? 


Tanya


www.tanyaagler.com


A Ranger for the Twins

Coming October 2020 

She fell from grace…
Before falling for him
When her husband defrauded the town of Hollydale, now-divorced mom Lucie Decker went from being the town darling to total pariah. Now she’s launching a new business and needs ranger Caleb Spindler’s 
help. And her twins adore Caleb. After all, he’s a genuine hero—even if he is hiding a secret. But while Lucie’s heart has forgotten how to trust, it still remembers how to fall in love…

 


Tanya Agler lives in Georgia with her wonderful husband and four active children. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, classic movies, and long walks. Oh, and chocolate. Her debut novel, The Sheriff's Second Chance, is a January 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTanyaAgler and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tanyaaglerauthor. You can also sign up for her newsletter on her FB page or at her website: www.tanyaagler.com






Comments

  1. Nice post! This summer I've mostly been writing and doing research for my manuscripts, but I've tried to do some gardening, walking every day, rock tumbling...and trying to stay away from the refrigerator. I haven't had time for painting or patchwork quilting lately because of deadlines, but I'll get back to it. I have a nice collection of Willow Tree angels and carved bears, but nothing new over the past few months since we've been staying very close to home.

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    1. I try to walk outside most days whenever possible (I live in GA so storms and/or humidity don't always make that happen), but I've taken to running in the basement. My daughter joined me and we were singing together to a Disney singalong on Disney Plus.

      I hear you about the refrigerator. My husband is a great cook so that makes it even harder.

      Good luck with that deadline!

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  2. I'm useless doing anything that requires fine motor skills, like sewing, knitting, painting. I laughed at your anecdote about the home economics teacher Tanya! I was exactly the same...and still am. But I'm a pretty good cook and known for my pies. I find comfort in walking too and just sitting staring at the water here at my cottage. For me, writing is both an escape and a comfort.

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    1. Ah, that sounds lovely. I think sometimes sitting still and looking at something beautiful like water (lakes, ponds, rivers, etc.) by a cottage is underrated.

      I agree about writing being an escape and a comfort.

      Have a great day, Janice.

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  3. Enjoyed your post. I taught myself how to sew last year, but I just make little crafty things and not quilts. I’ve made masks for my husband, myself and my daughter. I’ve also sewed gifts for friends. I love reading so I’ve been doing more of that lately. For a while I couldn’t seem to concentrate on reading so I was sewing more. But I’m doing a little better with it now. And I’ve been watching YouTube videos so I could get some ideas on more ethnic dishes to cook. I’m making more Spanish and Caribbean dishes. But I have to slow down. My waistline is increasing.

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    1. Spanish and Caribbean dishes sound delicious! My husband has discovered some new Creole dishes and I'm loving jambalaya.

      I'm impressed that you taught yourself how to sew. There's nothing like a homemade gift from a friend!

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  4. I'm a walker and a sometimes-quilter. I'd love a walking class! :-)

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    1. I loved my walking class and often think about it, especially as I'm trying to figure out different routes in my neighborhood. Monday was the shortest walk with the least incline and by Thursdays the class walked longer routes with more inclines (Athens, GA does have some hills!). Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I like to craft, although I'm not terribly skilled. I've done some quilting. I like to combine beads and string necklaces or bracelets for an annual charity auction. Two summers ago, I grew birdhouse gourds, and after they dried, I had several neighbors over to paint birdhouses. We had a great time, and the birdhouses were cute--all very different. My favorite was in the shape of a cat, with the hole of the birdhouse in his mouth. But reading is my first and best comfort, and always has been.

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    1. Those sound like great hobbies, both the jewelry making and the birdhouses. I love the idea of a birdhouse shaped like a cat! How fun. And I love reading, too! You're right, it's my first and best comfort as well.

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  6. I'm a Pilates fan and walker...and I turn to knitting to calm my nerves. But not baking...so glad there are some who do!

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    1. I love when hobbies also serve as stress relievers! To me, that's always a double win. I hope your current knitting project is going well.

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  7. Staying as safe as possible has limited some of the things I enjoy doing. I got to a marble show just before things got bad and have consoled myself in looking at the ones I picked up. I keep busy with writing, some cooking, and keeping up the exercise. Clearing out some excess junk around the house has been fun. I've done some Christmas ornaments and will do some more. Reading is always great, though I also enjoy listening to audio books or lectures while doing something else. (Multi-tasking probably isn't as effective as we usually assume, but I can't resist doing it at least part of the time.)

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    1. Sometimes clearing out stuff can be relaxing and provide a calm sense of relaxation. Enjoying stories is always a win. I'm glad audiobooks and books both provide great ways for people to relax and unwind. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I am a crocheter and knitter but the most dealing thing is spinning fiber in my spinning wheel into yarn, to then crochet or knit! The rhythm of spinning is soothing and you have lots of time to think about a difficult plot line or work out a dialogue. Then at the end you have beautiful yarn AND a nudge to keep writing. I love to cook too, mostly Italian but my scale doesn't love me when I get too carried away with it! Love the post!

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    1. I can just picture you, spinning yarn and spinning up stories!

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  9. I definitely consider walking a hobby--it's an all purpose mental and physical activity. I finally realized that current events/politics is a hobby--more than a mild interest and it's not my career. I have a real affinity for this kind of participation and what goes into to learning what I need to know. I get more comfort participating than I would get trying not to care about it.

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