Some Old and Then Some New Tricks (I’m Very Versatile)

We are talking about trying new things and adaptability. Although I was too shy as a youngster to show any of my writings or put any real effort into art, I still enjoyed learning and trying my hand at a few things. I did like doing embroidery, but I was more adept at games, and was not afraid to do my best in front of anyone. I did,however,  get into crafting and the painting of crafts when I grew up. I’ve delved into doing a great deal of decoupaging in the last few years.

I tried my hand at real writing when I was in my late 20’s. I wrote songs and won a nice award.

At one time I was into a bit of woodworking and probably would have stayed on that course had I not moved 1,0000 miles away and had my life drastically change.

I had made a move of 1,800 miles fourteen years before, from the capital of the world, (Washington, DC), to a small town in Idaho. Twice I moved from the suburbs of major cities to small towns, (although I am not sure how well I adapted…but I have been here for over twenty years now.)

I learned to bake cakes and cookies at my mother’s elbow; her food is still talked about by friends and family. A good presentation was important to her, but she never got into decorating; I did, so much so that I became a baker and made my own cake and cookie designs,(including wedding cakes). My mother had a full repertoire of good foods, but I spread out the basics she taught me to foods of other cultures and recipes for special diets; again, so much so that I took over the bakery/restaurant from my boss. ( I wrote all the menus and most of the advertising.) I also cooked for an assisted living complex where the dietary needs were often challenging. I have a food blog that gives dietary alternatives whenever possible

As a challenge in my local library’s adult Summer Reading Program two years ago, I learned to can.( I make a really mean Banana Butter.) I’m not sure there is much else for me to go, culinary-wise.

My mother sewed well, but gave it up before I had enough sense to ask her to teach me. I bought a machine after I was married and made quite a number of items for around the house, like pillows, covers and ‘throws’. I especially loved making quilts but I got the biggest responses to baby clothes I would make. My specialty was a plush terry robe that was in demand whenever a friend had a baby. I plan on getting back to my newer machine after a very long stretch of only repair work.

Many moons ago when I put my sons into Cub Scouts I took one look at the Den leader in her official shirt with many badges and thought, “I’m impressed; I could never do that”. But within the year I had such a shirt and after many hours of being a leader and in as much training as I could find, I had more badges than she did. When I left the area, I was on a committee to help “Packs” in trouble, to show them what to do and how to do it.

I wrote for organizations and I became very active in the homeschool movement in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s; I never expected that I would ever be an activist. Frankly, I had I never expected to homeschool at all.

I learned to throw group parties for all ages but life was quieter when I moved here. However, I found myself playing hostess much more often to many out-of-town guests, quite a few old friends and VIPs, many of which were in the clergy. And I learned to throw receptions…all of which is a far cry from my youthful shyness.

I had to adapt to chronic illness.

I adapted to going back to work regularly, sometimes in more than one job.
I had to adapt to life-style changes and reversals of fortune…several times.

Then I adapted to more chronic illness.

I had to adapt to sons marrying young and to having grandchildren. (The last one was easiest!) I even managed to become a “Soccer Grandma”.

I had to adapt to being a mother-in-law and no longer #1 in my sons’ lives…and then being called back to Mom-duty when problems arose. (The being mom to grown sons is a real tightrope.)

Anyone who can handle their children learning to drive and going out on their own in a car can adapt to about anything!

Of course,I’ve had to learn to handle this computer machine, and to text, and deal with recording devices and phones, etc.

I was raised in no real religion and tried very hard to be an atheist,  but through grace, at around the age of 20,I found myself immersed in Christianity and Catholicism, learning as much as I could about it. And I find more and more in life that all is not as simple as any human  can conceive.

After my childhood failures, I found myself writing poetry that was publishable, and I have had non-fiction works published. I never saw that coming.

Now, I find myself not only on this writer’s blog, but I have learned to do interviewing, which is something else that comes completely surprising to me. If that isn’t enough, under the influence of these lovely people and others ,I have started a romance novel…I have no idea that I would ever in a million years be saying that.

And I have had to adapt to even more chronic illnesses and more lifestyle changes. One of my doctors insists that I get “core strengthening” and wants me to do yoga…the next thing to learn.

All in all, I’d say I am pretty adaptable, don’t you think?

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
This entry was posted in blogging, childhood, disability, Family, Life, Miscellaneous, poetry, Random thoughts, Tonette Joyce, using talents, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Some Old and Then Some New Tricks (I’m Very Versatile)

  1. jeff7salter says:

    not only adaptable, but (once you begin yoga) FLEXIBLE.
    Sounds like you’ve had a varied and interesting life so far — filled with opportunities along with challenges. Highs and lows… and (like the timex watch) you’re still ticking!


    • Yes,I’m ticking,Jeff…I learned to sell Timexes at one time, too, pre-quartz days.
      I forgot to add that.Although I never learned to paint,I did learn a lot about color when selling picture frames to artists; the subtle colors withing the different wooden or molded frames would pick up or match the colors in different paintings.


  2. You are extremely adaptable! Love how you can cook and bake like that. Your accomplishments, the things you have had to learn over the years is quite impressive. I am certain that your novel will be lovely.


    • Thank you,Angie.That story is a long-time getting down but I’m glad, as I have found more elements to make it richer. Plus,Patty-the-Fox helped me to bring myself to eliminate a secondary storyline and characters who were being uncooperative.
      I cook and bake to relax.I even did so when I was out working at it.A friend used to complain that my husband would not have dinner ready for me when I was working and he was laid-off, and I could never convince her that I needed quiet, creative time in the kitchen.


  3. Helen Pollard says:

    You are SO adaptable, Tonette! You put me to shame!


    • Helen, if I have learned one thing in my life, it’s that one can face anything if driven enough. If you have others, even one person, who would suffer if you didn’t come through, you can do it.
      However, I don’t recommend crises!
      Thank you for stopping in and taking the time to comment.I appreciate it.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’d say you’re the queen of adaptability! I think a lot of the things we learn are a matter of necessity and circumstance, but the degree to which we immerse ourselves in the new learning depends on our interest and determination. Earning scout badges and running a business demand a high level of determination, and you’ve shown you’ve got more than enough to do anything you put your mind to!


    • Thank you,Patty. I may not always had a lot of ‘follow-through’ in my life, but circumstances required a number of switcheroos from me! I have to say that I like to think and I like to do things well.That helps, along with what I told Helen.


  5. pjharjo says:

    I would say you are very “versatile,” Tonette! You said, “After my childhood failures,” but I didn’t see any failures in your childhood. You’ve done so much more than I can imagine in my lifetime!


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