Finding New Hobbies


As this year has gone on, I found myself needing some new interests. Unfortunately, very little appealed to me.

I finally set the following criteria:

  • It could not require hours behind a computer. I spend all day in front of a screen for my job and I can’t do it at home all night and weekend too. I love my camera as a means to take a walk, but hours of post photo processing are not fun.
  • I wanted something physically active. It didn’t have to be anything hard core, but I wanted something that was more than sitting around (see the first point above).
  • I also wanted something where I could grow and learn, something where I could take classes, ask questions, and experiment to a higher knowledge level.

I settled on:

  • Using my Big Green Egg (BGE) smoker more and
  • Doing yoga more consistently.

The Big Green Egg forum is a great place to learn more about how to smoke. I’ve also been experimenting with recipes that are not for grilling or smoking. Our local sporting goods store has two employees in the BGE section that don’t mind answering questions when I come in, which is especially helpful when I’m not understanding something from the forum. There are also classes that I plan to take next year.

As for the yoga, I’ve been using an on-line subscription to Yoga International. As with any class, some instructors are better than others with extra instructions of how to do it. I’ve learned a lot watching the videos closely and listening to the do this, be careful not to do that, etc.

Do you like this picture above? As we head into Christmas, the television is full of commercials that what a woman really wants is jewelry (lingerie, new car, etc.). Nah. What some women want is a second, smaller smoker and a hoodie Carhartt sweatshirt to wear on the days it’s cold out there. Something washable that can get wrecked by grease and soot when I’m reaching into the grill to clean it or fill it with charcoal. Something washable when I brush the dogs and get enough hair to clone another one.


It’s hard to see in this picture – but the beagle has lost a lot of weight. His diet is finally working and each time we walk, the harness gets tightened up a bit more.


Of course, he can still pop it over his head anytime he feels like it. Thankfully he’s a good boy and just sits in the middle of the road as I put it back on him. I’ve tried several harnesses on him and he does it with all of them. He collapses those shoulders, digs in those big paws, and off it comes.

Beagle Stories Cooking Dogs

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

28 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I am always a big supporter of people finding and taking up new hobbies. I especially appreciated your criteria–it definitely helps to get into things with your eyes wide open and your goals firmly in view.
    And, by the way, I am definitely jealous of the big egg.

    • Yeah, those eggs are something! It’s a lifetime investment, but definitely costly upfront.

      Thanks for the encouragement on finding a new hobby! I really floundered around trying to figure out what to do next before I realized I needed to figure out what my criteria was. I love my photography, but it’s too many hours behind a computer, just like being at work.

    • Thank you (sorry to not get back to you sooner – lots of overtime with year end close). It was a long story behind using mine – I’ve had it since 2013 and had so many failures, I decided to give it away. Debbie over at The Mountain Kitchen blog nicely kicked and said just get it figured out. I finally am and have been enjoying it much more.

      Let me know how it goes for you. What have you tried so far?

  2. Ah, the beagle is looking svelte! Had to laugh at ‘enough dog hair to clone another dog.’ Happy New Year, Nancy.

  3. You have 2 green eggs….very holiday-ish
    He has lost weight – I can see it. Stubborn dogs and harnesses…still looking for a solution for that.
    And to wrap up the holidays…
    Waiting for sunset on Christmas Eve is like standing toes-over-the-edge on a high diving board.
    Every year we’d cruise casually by the window to keep an eye on the sun’s progress until it was officially evening.
    Then the shout “Christmas Eve Gift!” would ring out.
    You see, the traditions says that the first person to voice that phrase on Christmas Eve to another would be graced with good fortune and joy all the next year.
    (And of course, whomever was first won. Everything was a contest…)
    It’s more difficult to be first now with caller ID.
    As all those who have become my friends in blogland are spread widely across time zones, I’d like to wish you all “Christmas Eve Gift” now.
    And as I already feel so fortunate to have such wonderful readers and writers in this neighborhood, I wish to share any phrase acquired good fortune and joy with you in thanks.
    No matter where you are or what you are guided by, hope you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of adventure and joy.
    Peace on earth and goodwill towards all creatures great and small.

    • Thank you for the well wishes. I so enjoyed your note and am sorry to not leave a longer one back to you.

      Is all well as you enter the New Year? How are the doggies?

      I hadn’t heard about the Christmas Eve Gift, but I sure looked forward to this year’s solstice. I really dislike when the days get so short.

      And would we do without stubborn dogs? Then it wouldn’t be enough like raising children.

      Happy New Year!

    • Nicole – thank you so much for that encouragement! It’s hard sometimes to give things up, but if I don’t, I’ll be really unhappy. I appreciate you clarifying back to me what I said – that is so nice. Have a Happy New Year!

      How are you doing? How’s the family?

      • Happy New Year to you! We are doing well. It’s been a quiet holiday season for us – no traveling and no one traveling to us – so we’re starting to have a little bit of cabin fever, but surviving! How was your Christmas?

        • Christmas was good. We came back with nasty colds though and spent our time off sleeping and blowing our noses. It wasn’t even from the little germ factories – it was from the original germ factory, our daughter.

          Things are going well, just very busy. I went back to work and a few weeks later, it went into crisis and I spent all of 2016 trying to cope with it. The good part was that I brushed up on 20 year old skills and learned a lot of new technology. The bad news was all the stress. I do think 2017 will be better though.

    • I could make a fortune if I could design a harness that a beagle can’t escape from! The yoga has really helped. I don’t like the religious aspects of it, but the physical movement has really agreed with me. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Have fun with your new hobbies! I have been doing yoga for years and it really works for me. The beagle looks very healthy. He would love my dog, Dot. She is now comfortable with her harness and eagerly slips into it as she knows it means going for a walk. Have a great Christmas!!

    • I’ve so enjoyed seeing the pictures of Dot on Facebook. She is a cutie and looks to be a good fit for you guys. The yoga has been challenging, but my health is improving with it. I’ve got a much better range of motion and I find that when I stand in the kitchen to cook, my feet and legs don’t hurt as much afterwards. I’m hoping for next year to build some muscle definition and improve my range of motion even more.

  5. You look happy & healthy! I’m glad to hear of your new hobbies. I hope you & Ken have a very Merry Christmas!

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