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Somethings gotta give

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I have not been ignoring you Sparkfriends. I have also not been freaking out, wallowing, having a pity party or eating random things! So where have I been and what have I been doing? I have been here…evaluating.

I have never been in quite this kind of position before. I am a little "out here" in the world with out direction. Or at least I was. This place we have moved is nice for sure. Winter was not so bad, plenty of activities for the kids, a fantastic job for Patrick and an interesting apartment. What there is not here is a normal job for me! i have been floating along hoping something would come up but there is no permanent position for mw at the hotel where Patrick is so I fill in where needed. Good but not great. There is no other work environment here, in this town that has any interest in me though. I am only 20 minutes from Oslo but I would have to find the perfect part time position that was smack dab in the middle of the day and then commute by train. Not likely. Sooooo…here I am.

Being here is weird. This past weekend I brought Quintessa to the library where they were to have a cake decorating demonstration by the famous cake guy here who has a shop at the mall and has been on TV. Guess what. He didn't show. There we were all these kids all these cupcakes and no famous cake decorator. I could not help myself and in my broken Norwegian I stepped in and offered to help. I could not do much because I was not prepared but I could show them how to use and full a pasty bag and keep things moving, neat and clean while the kids decorated cupcakes. It was so much fun it made me sad! I have been told over and over again that I make better tasting cakes that the "famous guy" and just as interesting looking cakes but I have no place here to utilize my skills! No one wants poor me! :-)

What do I do? Last month I made myself a goal list for the next several years (previous post) and through the process of making the list and beginning to knock things off of it I have come to realize where some of my strengths lie outside of the culinary field. I have started to ask myself what really makes me happy and what I am good at. I have started to ask my self also, with my lifestyle as an expat what I really need. I have spent the past month "getting into" me while trying hard to think outside of this pastry box I have been in for so many years. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice box but right now it might as all be in the attic with our summer things and all the other things up there we are saving for another season.

What have I done? Well, I have finished Liam's birthday invitation and turned it into a finished art project that is now hanging on the wall.

Today I submitted the image to an online magazine for consideration.

I also sat with my children and created bookmarks one weekend an submitted them into a book mark competition. Here are the entries:

Girl int the Red Hat by Quintessa

Fish Faces by Quintessa

Cute Faces by Liam

Pink Fox by Quintessa

Many Hats by Ronna

There are hundred of amazing entries and we will not win, I am fairly confident but we had so much fun and we worked together.

I have entered three different writing competitions as well. They were short stories…one was extremely short at only 21 words!

How do I feel? I feel like nothing is going to be handed to me here. I cannot feel sure that I will just get a job here no matter how hard I try (and I have) so…I have to DO something. I have to make change. I have to try something. As a young person, despite what my scholastic mentors would tell me and my parents about my abilities I was literally forbidden to pursue art and writing as a career. (I can remember the screaming matches well! ) I suppose once I was supporting myself and had adjusted to "real life" I could have had a go at it but by then I had found my culinary career. Now my culinary career is stalled!

I have decided that I need a "portable career", one that is not dependent on where I am living, what language is spoken there or what Patrick is doing. For me, I think I am not skilled enough at this point to attempt to become a visual artist because that part of me has been lying dormant for so very long but I can enjoy that with my children as a hobby and as a tool to feed my creativity. Writing, however, I feel may be a possibility. I am not sure if I am technically a great writer but I do feel that it is a skill that I might be able to use if I work on it. I'm gonna try! I am making enough and working few enough hours right now (2 to 4 days a week) at the hotel to have some time to explore the possibility of making some money in the future using my love of writing. I will restart my little blog that I got going and let go of some years ago. I will practice and enter these free competitions I find on line and I will look into what it takes to earn money at it.

So That is what I have come up with. That is what I have been doing. I welcome any ideas or advice you may have for me and my new attempt at a portable career. I trust you…my Spark friends. I intend to be here more and more once I learn how to balance my time…I think being here and writing to you all is one of the big factors in my realizing writing as a possibility so I do thank you for that. At the very least…I am enjoying myself way more than that pity party I threw for myself a while back! emoticon

(BTW…Here I don't edit much or proof read…I just want to "talk" but don't worry I will do a fine job at editing out there in the "other" part of the internet world! emoticon )
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Not only did I love reading this, but I am so glad you started up your blog again. It was so funny and written so well! You definitely have a gift for writing, so it is natural for you to explore it as an option. Good luck and will keep in touch. :)
    1554 days ago
    Hi, Ronna !

    It is soooo good to hear from you.

    I think it's pretty cool that you stepped in to show the kids how to decorate cupcakes. I'll bet you are every bit as talented as that master cake baker. Working with marzipan IS an art form. That takes talent and creativity. I'll bet the library was thrilled once you started showing the kids what to do. Sounds like everyone had fun. You saved the day !!

    Find work as a chef is never an easy thing. As you know, you work long hours. You might have to think outside the box. A relative of mine was recently laid off from his job as a restaurant manager. One thing we suggested was to apply for a job at a local university. Many universities have catering services for students and staff. So, depending how far you are from a good university, you might find part time work there.

    What about bakeries or cafes ? I know they aren't exactly hotel quality, but maybe a small bistro/cafe might provide part time work.

    Just a few random thoughts...

    Oh and yes, for Lent, I decided to donate food instead of "sacrificing" something for the 40 days. Figured that was a good way to do a good deed and still eat my chocolate. LOL !!!

    1559 days ago
  • IONA72
    I have always enjoyed your writing, you are good at it so I wish you every success and I will follow you along the journey!

    1559 days ago
    That was so great that you stepped in for the "famous guy" (hope he had a good reason for not showing up). I bet the kids enjoyed your demonstration more than they would have liked his. Blogging about cooking, kids, and travelling would be great. Your photos are always interesting and I enjoy your writing style. Writing and illustrating picture books for kids might be another great option for you. Some successful writers have been told that they can't write and have been rejected by publishers previously. I hope you find something to do that you enjoy and bring us along with you! I'm cheering for you no matter what you choose to do!! emoticon
    1560 days ago
  • LENKA763
    I love love the many hats bookmark .

    Let me know how did the competition turn out.
    Good Luck with you other self discovering:).
    1560 days ago
    The bookmarks are amazing! Your kids have definitely inherited your artistic talents. I am so proud of you for stepping out of your "box" and finding what makes you happy. That takes a great deal of courage.
    I can hardly wait to see where this takes you. I am sure it will be fantastic!!

    1560 days ago
    I have moved a couple of times to places where I knew no one but my husband. It is very hard. And I didn't have such a language and cultural barrier. I would join things (church, for one), did a college certificate program and volunteered. (We were waiting to adopt my son when he was born.) I found that I had to meet a lot of people to find some that I really clicked with and became lifelong friends. It takes time but it can happen.
    I love the bookmarks! Very talented family. Maybe the part-time work is a blessing because you can have some time with the kids while they are little?
    How much of your need to work is for income and how much is to keep yourself growing and fulfilled? A couple of thoughts... love the blog idea; your could take an art class, I consider myself an artist and I still do; I have a friend who has a wedding and special occasion cake business out of her home, maybe you could be an entrepreneur?
    Best wishes whatever you do.
    1562 days ago
    Success takes a long time (W. Edwards Deming). You can do anything, and the best way is to just start doing it. You will do things wrong, so you just do them over - so writing is just another skill that you can learn. Writing well takes a little more effort, but the big thing is to just start doing and learning. You already make incredible pastries, so it is obvious you are able to master a craft.
    I always got A's in English, all the way through high school and college, but I never really learned until I was trying to write so no one could misunderstand what I intended to convey. With time I would write like either Hemingway or Faulkner - a sentence ten pages long that you never noticed until you deliberately looked for the length. Then the trick was to have a good story to tell - the most important part. The way to succeed is to start and just keep going. (Dean Koontz) Good luck.
    1563 days ago
    So great to hear from you. I think revitalizing your blog is a great idea. All of us would join you there. I also think you could try to expand the cooking demonstrations for parents and children. Quinn could be your Norwegian translator which would be a great example of including children. With the internet, there all kinds of English speaking opportunities for writing, even Children's books. I think a children's book about holidays or living in other countries would be great. Enjoy this opportunity and have fun, but don't give up pastry.
    1563 days ago
    I have missed you so much!

    You and the Munchkins are a talented bunch. I trust the right fit will find you soon. Have you considered opening your own cake shop? I think you'd be great at ti.
    1564 days ago
    I think it is a wonderful plan and look forward to your blog.
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    1564 days ago
    I've been thinking for a long time that you would be the perfect person to have a blog about cooking. I know there are other blogs on cooking, and to tell the truth I would never read them, but you have the added interest of traveling and cooking and mothering and learning languages. Your Spark friends LOVE reading your entries and look forward to them. Why not the rest of the world?
    1564 days ago
    Pretty awesome that you are thinking outside of the box instead of allowing yourself to be stuck. You have a great sense of humor and a lovely conversant writing style. Why not submit some travel pieces to...? Probably a Google search would be more informative than me on that one. Love the bookmarks! On another note, why not set up a demo once a month at the mall and have a translator work with you? All things are possible!
    Been missing you and wondering what was up. Sounds like you are moving forward!
    1564 days ago
    I love, love, love this. You are in an extremely challenging situation (far more challenging than mine) and you have done exactly what you should. You analyzed the issue, came up with pros and cons, identified option and developed a plan forward. This is so VERY IMPRESSIVE! More later. HUGS!

    So good to get the update. Thank you.

    1564 days ago
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    1564 days ago
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