Deb Sarah’s Hobbies (and Others She Wishes She Had)

Before I get to the topic at hand, I want to share two bits of news from my world–both super fun. First: The ultrasound results are in, and we’re having … another boy! This makes three boys for us. Deb Sarah Pekkanen tells me that life with three males (four, if you count the hubs) is perfectly wonderful. And because Sarah seems to be a.) honest, b.) super fun, and c.) still sane, I’m inclined to believe that I’m in for great fun.

And, in other news, I received my first-pass pages of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH on Friday. For anyone who doesn’t know (heck, I’m new to this too!), this is the first proof of the final, type-set pages of your manuscript before it’s printed into galleys or books. It’s a fun place to be for an author because it means you’re one step closer to publication, and yet, it’s also scary because it’s your last chance to make changes before it goes to press–a haunting thought after working on said manuscript off and on for the better part of the last two years!

And now, ahem, to more pressing news: my hobbies, or lack of hobbies. You see, my husband has been after me for years to get a real hobby. He has lots of them: woodworking, golfing, video-gaming (apparently men still feel 14 when they’re 35), and so on. Me? I’ve thrown myself into my work for so long that my answer to “what’s your hobby” is generally, “um, well, I’m a writer–does that count?” I even blogged about my hobby dilemma over on recently, and my readers piped up in the comments section with lots of cool hobbies that I wished I had. Still, I do have a few things in my life that may fall in the hobby category. They include:

Gardening: I have packed out (and I mean, packed!) the planting spaces of my 7,000 square-feet Seattle garden. I’m proud of my Japanese maples, dahlias, lavender, zinnias, hydrangeas, roses, huge rhododendrons, lilacs, and the enormous herb garden loaded with oregano, mint, sage and sorrel, a good share of weeds, and, oh, a pumpkin plant that’s looking really anemic right now. I should add: The dog ate all of my heirloom tomatoes. So much for that. If you’re interested, you can see some pics of what my garden is looking like now, here.

Cooking/Baking: My husband says cooking doesn’t count as a real hobby because, a.) we have to eat to live–where’s the hobby in that? and b.) I write about food and test recipes for a living, so it’s basically all work (I frequently force my brood to eat my kitchen experiments–ask them how they felt about the spicy chipotle barbecue sauce I tested for Glamour a few months ago). In any case, I do love to cook. I made a fab peach pie over the weekend at the beach with peaches from my in-laws tree. Divine! Here’s a pic, to induce salivating.

Running: I’m with Deb Elise on the love (or love-hate relationship with) of running. I love the peace, the solitude, the runner’s high, and the amazing thing running does for your overall strength and cardio health. Here’s a little more on how I learned to love the sport–because I didn’t always love it!

Now, the hobbies I wish I could get into? Knitting, for one. I would love to be one of those women who pulls out her knitting needles to work on a scarf or a sweater whenever she has a break, or while watching TV–such an awesome use of spare time, and I bet it’s really soothing hearing the click of those needles. And, second, bird-watching. I know, I know, but really–I totally get a rush when I see an interesting bird in my yard. What? You don’t get excited about birds too?!

There you have it! Hobbies a la Deb Sarah.

Let’s talk hobbies! Any you wish you could develop?

xo, Sarah

13 Replies to “Deb Sarah’s Hobbies (and Others She Wishes She Had)”

  1. Hmmm. Gardening… The “Violets” of March… are the hobbies blending into your writing?

    I so admire the gardening thing. I look at a plant and I kill it, though (knock wood) I’ve managed to keep my daughter’s favorite potted bamboo alive for over a year now. Killed her bonsai though — she eventually stopped believing me when I told her the brown, brittle (but still very cool-shaped) thing that crumbled to dust at her touch was still a living plant and she should go ahead and water it.

    Totally get the writing-taking-up-every-spare-moment-so-isn’t-it-a-hobby thing. Commented recently on past-Deb Katie’s blog about that. Especially when you juggle a variety of projects, each one can seem like a fun diversion from the last.

    Between you and Deb Kim, I’m thinking we need to get together for Deb Dining. Deb Eleanor, Deb Tawna, and I will bring the drinks.

    CONGRATULATIONS ON THE NEW BABY BOY!!!! I’m really in awe of you and Deb Kim on the three kid thing. I have one and it’s perfect for me. Don’t they outnumber you with three???

    Congrats on First Pages too! Mine are coming to me next week, I hear. Very exciting!

  2. Hey! We’re a Brady Bunch! Congrats on baby Boy Jio. The pie looks great. GF is tough on pie crust, but I have one great recipe. I have black thumbs. I’ve told Mark, “I’ll keep the kids alive, you keep the plants alive.” So far, so good.


  3. My parents are bird-watchers, and I do envy their ability to name all the birds who come to the numerous feeders in their yard. Looking out the window of their dining room is amazing in any season, though I am partial to seeing cardinals against the snow.

    And I’m also so envious about the gardening – I have a fantasy about having a vegetable garden, but I can’t even keep house plants alive, so I think this will never happen. Unless you have a secret to share?

  4. I’m very envious of your garden. Wow! I count cooking/baking as a hobby because I enjoy it–in the same way laundry is NOT a hobby.

    Knitting? Oh, yes. I took knitting class last winter (A character in my book was a knitter so I needed to know how, too) and I LOVE it. It is incredibly relaxing . . . almost zen-like. I say find a local knitting store and take a lesson.

    Congrats on the three boys–I have two and would have loved to have a third.

  5. Congratulations! My hobby is gardening. I love to water my tropcials and flowers, they seem to sigh with pleasure. Of course I drink heavily while watering my plants. What’s a gardner to do?

    Greg Gutierrez
    Zen and the Art of Surfing

  6. Sarah, your garden is lovely AND there’s already fall foliage to view! Hmm, as for #1 hobby, though, it might be having boys or is that part of being a “Deb Sarah?” Best healthy wishes!

  7. Ooooooh…I’m coveting your garden! The mountainous high desert of Central Oregon is a notoriously difficult place to get anything to grow, so I was really happy when my first garden last summer turned out great. This summer? Uh, not so much. Our weather DID NOT cooperate!

    So fun getting to know all my fellow Debs!


  8. Greg, you’re hilarious. I admit, before the pregnancy, I would sip wine and water. Makes for a more enjoyable gardening experience. 🙂 xo

  9. Larramie, I should clarify that my garden photos were taken LAST fall when things had progressed a bit farther (I think the photos were taken in October). The leaves on my maples are only starting to turn orange now–not the vibrant shades in the photo. I really love my garden in fall. It’s so fun to watch it change. xo

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