Ask Away Friday.

I was in for a bit of a challenge this week, and I liked it.

When I last participated in “Ask Away Friday”, I was partnered with Brittnei and since I “know” her pretty well these days, at least in the social media world, I was a bit spoiled with thinking up questions for her. I admit I wanted more of the same for this week’s “Ask Away Friday”. I wanted to be partnered with a friend, so I could be lazy and not do too much research. You know how life is – babies to prevent from climbing the stairs. Preschoolers to play on the swings with. Photos to edit. People to see.

Well, I was wrong! A partnership with someone new? Totally awesome. Getting to know a new blog, and the intriguing person behind that blog? Also awesome. I am so happy to be swapping questions with Wendy of Effie Girl this week!


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She’s a fellow Jersey girl who loves taking pictures! Not only that, she lives right near a favorite town from my childhood, and her neighbor was the owner of my favorite store ever. It used to be the biggest deal in the world to go to this store in this town. It was the only place I could get my Rocky Horror Picture Show posters and t-shirts back before the movie caught on more.

Be sure to check out the other fabulous blogs participating in Ask Away Friday:


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And now, here are my answers to Wendy’s questions for me. Be sure to check out her answers to my questions here.

Her ten questions for me were real thinkers. I love to tackle a challenge though, so here we go!

1) If you weren’t writing or doing photography, what would you be doing?

I admit I kept trying to think of a way to cheat this question. First, I thought of being someone who writes greeting cards, but then I thought: “Wait, that’s a writer.” And I always thought I’d love to own a B&B, but after being an Innkeeper for awhile, that dream was squashed. And many of my loved ones know that I wouldn’t last another minute in an office job. Maybe not even 30 seconds. I am awful, awful at having bosses and having to do stupid things. I do, however, love doing stupid things on my own, without a boss telling me to do them. I like to be my own stupid-ideas person. That said, I would love to have a food truck. I’m not totally kitchen-savvy, although I did make these lovely Tardis Turducken Cookies for Cassidy’s birthday once. (toffee stuffed in a brownie stuffed in a chocolate chip cookie):

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Every day, I dream about a gourmet coffee shop/bakery on wheels. Preferably one that will come to my house and won’t mind my candy cane flannel pants. That’s what I want.

2) Was ‘she’ right? Do you know now, if you are the confident woman in an anxious woman’s clothing?

Whoa. Look at you, doing your research in my archives! I love that you did that. I used to wonder if that was the case every now and then. Now I wonder it a bit more often, but there are many setbacks along the way. I now know that I will never be 100% smooth, “on”, capable, calm and confident. Surprisingly, knowing it comes and goes really does help. I am sometimes a confident woman in an anxious woman’s clothing. I’m also sometimes an anxious woman hiding in a more confident woman’s clothing. And that’s ok too.

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(My second self-portrait ever)

3) Wine or Martini? And when?

This is tough for me to answer because I don’t drink at all. It’s nothing moral or religious, and it’s not about willpower. Quite the opposite – I have no desire for alcohol. Genetically, I’m a supertaster and I have that rare gene that so few of us have in which I’m either indifferent or repelled by the taste of alcohol. Saves me a lot of money and grief, though. However, I hate when people don’t choose an answer when they’re asked to choose one, so I’ll say wine. Manischewitz. In a tiny cup after a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. That’s the stuff.

4) Knowing her little personality now, what do you see Scarlet doing in life, someday?

Well today she said, “I care about anyone. I care about bad guys, even.” So maybe a defense lawyer? She is so many wonderful things, and it will change, and change so many times, but I’d like to believe it’s something really special and dear to her heart. A vet. A business leader. A foreign diplomat. A real princess. An actress.

5) Knowing his little personality now, what do you see Des doing in life, someday?

This one is tough because I automatically say he’d be a great engineer – he’s always trying to fit things together, and see what that creates. However, I think most 15-month-olds are probably little engineers. Focusing on his personality, I’d say a comedian! A comedian who juggles. Without a doubt.

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6) What was your best vacation to date?

Funny you should mention that because the reason for it took place four years ago today! (October 3rd, as I write this). It’s hard to narrow down vacations, because so many are outstanding, but for me it’s about not wanting to go home. Not even at the end. I’ve always been so tender-hearted and homesick and slightly anxious, that sometimes when something is really big and wonderful and epic and life-altering, I tend to want to hide away or go home. Not my best trait, but it’s me. So my best vacation was exactly a year to the day after we left San Francisco to move east. The vacation was back to San Francisco, after a year apart. We had a newborn baby girl. We were there for a wedding, and we went all over our favorite city – visiting our old home, our old restaurants and parks, our old coffeeshops. It was such an experience that I’m nearly tearing up writing about it. I remember that feeling. It was like coming home, but being away from home just the same. I’ll always feel that way. It’s my bi-coastal disorder. In love with two places. Thus far.

After our snack we dropped in on Mandy and Steve, our old dry cleaners.  They were so happy to see us.   This was a very emotional reunion.

7) What do you do with all your photos, save digital or put in scrap books, or print and share in frames for viewing?

A little of everything! I save them digitally in at least three different places. I archive them. I print and put some in frames. I’m not perfect at photo management yet. My friend Michelle knows a world of information on that matter.

8) Are you delighted today, or delightful?

I’m not terribly delightful today because both kids were up too late last night and were a bit obnoxious today. However, I am totally delighted because today is the day I became a published co-author on Amazon. And a best-selling one at that! Check us out HERE!

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9) Do you plan to write a short story, as an actual book, for your children to cherish when they are older?

That is definitely up there as something I’d love to do with my life. I’d love to write a few books – memoirs and children’s books and maybe a book about photographing children, and a book about overcoming anxiety. Or a book that combines all of those things!

10) Cassidy seems an unusual name, which I think is great. Does your hubster know how he came about being named “Cassidy”?

Well, I asked him and he said it was just that his parents flipped through a baby name book and liked it. I figured there was more to the story so I asked his mom. She was nice enough to give me some great quotes. Like I thought, more to the story. There is always more to the story.

“Well, of course we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. We settled on a girl’s name fairly quickly — Jean. In retrospect I’m a bit puzzled by that because my mother was Jeannette and you don’t name a child after a living relative. But I think we just really liked the name.

As for boy’s names, we didn’t have a clue. Every name we tried out seemed wrong, lacking in some respect or other. Both of our fathers had died by this time, but neither of us resonated with their names — Harry and Clifford. So, rather late in my pregnancy as I remember, we got our hands on a book of baby names and started to go through them one at a time — hundreds of them. We read them aloud, swiftly rejecting almost every one, until just a very few remained as finalists. This was quickly whittled down to two names: Kelsey and Cassidy. I knew no one with either name and that was a big plus because I knew this person-to-be was going to be unique. We considered both names, but Cassidy was the clear favorite. I remember saying that I could envision this boy/man named Cass who was tall and strong and maybe a rock musician, definitely a presence. Larry agreed. And so it came to be. And it always seemed so right!”

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Cassidy. Des. I can see it.

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97 Comments

  1. I need more! I love reading 'your writings', it's like a book you never want to end. No, I'm not trying to get you here to go to Rocky Horror with me in that little town, or open that little coffee/boutique/facial place with me that I've always wanted, (hint, hint). The cookies look yummy, I need one now πŸ™‚ and the words out of the mouths of babes, adorable Scarlet.

    Your answers were superb, and I am thrilled you asked Cassidy's mother about his name. So very sweet, her sharing a great little moment new to Cassidy.

    Happy Friday, my new friend πŸ™‚

    1. Oh Wendy – it’s a given that I’m coming back to that special town. It will always hold a place in my heart. And then we can get coffee and talk more about business. You rock. I am so happy I “met” you this week. You really made this Ask Away Friday so special for me, both in my post and yours.

  2. I was so excited to be mentioned in this post! Yay! I I did read about your "bicoastal disorder" in your new book so it was nice hearing something I already knew. So funny when you said the food truck immediately I tried to picture you on that show The Great Food Truck Race lol! So cute how Cassidy got his name. It's really cool and unique. Des favors you both for sure! πŸ™‚

    1. I'm so glad you're reading our book!

      I totally watch The Great Food Truck Race and think about being on it..even though I have zero cooking talents like many of them do. Maybe I'll be the one to drive the car or truck?

      And of course I mentioned you because you're the one who pulled me into this wonderful Ask Away Friday world!

  3. I used to think that I wanted to own a B&B. Sometimes I still do but my family tells me that I would last a month doing that and cleaning up after people. A food truck though? That does sound intriguing. Your self-portrait is beyond gorgeous and that likeness between Cassidy and Des is super cute. And yay for your book!

    1. Yes, it’s so much cleaning up after people! And my neuroses can not rest until everyone and everything is accounted for, which never happens in an Inn. I couldn’t do it. However, at the one I worked at, the owners were less hands-on, although they never really rested. Anyway, if I ever start a food truck, I’ll make a special trip to you!

  4. I just found your blog, and I love it. When I first saw that there were twenty parts to your story with Cassidy, I figured I'd skip around and find the good stuff. Lo and behold, it was all the good stuff, and twenty posts later I'm still perusing your blog.

    I agree with what you mean about being a confident woman in an anxious woman's clothing. Sometimes I feel like that too, but many, many times I feel the opposite. I guess the jury's still out for me.

    1. Thank you so much! I love hearing that people still read the love story. And I love that you read all 20 posts.

      I think the jury's still out on me too. I think it may always be that way. I'm learning to be ok with that. (sorta)

  5. I am so with you on being absolutely delighted about the book being published and still can't believe I am a published author this morning. You may need to come to Long Island to pinch me to make sure it is real!! Notice my clever way of trying to get to meet you πŸ™‚ But seriously someday, I know we will and it will be absolutely perfect!! By the way, loved those pictures of the end of Cassidy and Des-I totally see the resemblance!

    1. Yes, it’s not even a matter of “if” with meeting you – it’s “when.” I’m so glad you don’t really live in CA like I once thought you had. It makes the Starbucks date that much easier to attain.

  6. You know I love your posts. Every. Single. One. But this one had me smiling and chuckling the whole way through. Just love learning more about you. And this line: I do, however, love doing stupid things on my own… Amen sistah!! I, unfortunately, still have to do stupid things my boss tells me to do, but I still manage to find time to explore the stupid on my own!

    1. Well maybe your boss is awesome. And working at home is a big thing. It's the office thing that gets me. It makes me feel like a trapped tiger and I get all itchy and stretchy and I keep having coffee breaks. Outside. No matter the weather.

      Yes. One day I'll talk about my office experiences. They don't paint me in the best light.

      So glad you were smiling and chuckling with me this morning!

  7. I wrote my son a short story about dinosaurs when he was about three. I still need to do something with it. I need an illustrator though. I think I would have had a lot of childrens books if I need how to draw. It's very expensive to have a book illustrated AND printed in color. As you know I did publish the "not for kids" Christopher Chronicles. Even though Christopher is 8 he loves it. It will be a treasure for him. He thinks he's famous.

    Congrats again on your contribution to MOAM. I purchased it yesterday. So far I've only read the first story. I think I'll do one a day.

    1. I have a built-in illustrator – my mom. So that begs the question about why I am not writing children’s books! I want to, but I haven’t felt that inspiring idea..yet.
      Christopher is totally famous! And I’m so glad you’re reading the book.

  8. Just when I think I know you…I realize we have so much more in common than I ever imagined. Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh, the memories! And I too am an anxious woman in confident clothes or a confident woman in anxious clothes, depending on the day. And that self portrait. gorgeous, you. Just gorgeous. Talk about babes!

  9. Awww I love Ask Away Friday. Effie Girl is new to me too so I'm going to have to check her out. I loved your answers and I agree, I think most 15 month olds are engineers. They love to take apart and put things together. How did the first dental appointment go? I've been dying to ask. Hopefully it's a blog post with photos. Happy weekend my future family in law. πŸ™‚

    1. You too, fellow in-law! The dentist appointment was smooth. She seemed a bit nervous but she was so good during the exam/cleaning. She just lay there quietly and listened to the dentist!

  10. “I like to be my own stupid ideas person” Hahaha! I adore you, Tamara!(And I’d totally visit your food truck if you had delicious looking cookies like that! YUM!)
    Scarlet’s “I care about everyone” made me tear up. That is just the sweetest peek into her heart. Your children are just beautiful both inside and out! πŸ™‚ –Lisa

    1. Aw, thank you! You know I think very highly of everything Lisa and Ashley. If I ever have a food truck, or a book tour, or anything, North Carolina is a huge stop for me. I realize it’s a huge state, but I will be there and I will be delivering cookies to all of you wonderful people.

  11. So fun!!!

    Years ago we thought that a B&B would be our retirement plan then I did some research and decided I didn't want to work that hard in retirement!!!

    1. I hear you! The owners at my old B&B had great vacations and a second home in Vancouver and all good stuff, but if they weren’t around the Inn, they could NOT rest. For a second. I can’t see that being my life. And it just gets..messy. People are disgusting.

  12. You are so fun to sit down and read. I would also come and hang out right next to you and your food truck….maybe we can work together and I will fins another delicious treat to add to the truck full of cookies. I have always wanted to go to San Francisco. One of the places on my list to see…I have only flown thru there. Well technically, my family lived there at one time, but I was an infant so that doesn’t count. πŸ™‚

    1. Scarlet has been to San Francisco twice now, but she was just a baby and doesn't remember. She always talks about how badly she wants to go! I want to go with her. It's been three years for me, which seems insane. I thought one year was bad.

      I would love for your cookies to be on my food truck. Honored, even.

  13. Would you stop with the damn cookies already?? And I have the perfect non-alcoholic drink for you when we have our girl's party!! It's happening.

    I've missed you so much this week mama. I've been so busy but I had to make sure I did the rounds for AAF — this series is so fun. Getting to know more about people on a personal level.

    Love you girl.

    ¤´¨)

    ¸.•*´

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    Raising-Reagan.com

    1. Love you too!

      I love that you're here, despite your total moving turmoil. Things will get settled nicely soon. I agree about our party. It's happening. And I can't wait.

  14. I love getting to know more about you! This is adorable! My favorite though were the questions about the kids. Your answers were just so perfect…no limitations or aspirations – just what you see and feel for your kiddos…love it!! And you of course πŸ˜‰

  15. "I like to be my own stupid-ideas person." <- My favorite phrase this week! You are such a great photographer and I cringe at the thought of you visiting my AskAwayFriday post. Please don't be too harsh! hahaahha

    Congratulations on the book! It mush have been pretty exciting for you and the rest of the ladies. πŸ™‚

  16. A food truck? So cool-can you sell my baked goods? I was lucky to get to review your book. yay!! I can't wait to read through all of it!!

  17. WOW! Love that picture of your husband as a child!!!

    If Des becomes a juggling comedian, I will totally pay to see his act:-)

    Loved this post and learning more about you…

  18. Oh I just LOVE getting to know you better through this series!! Those were really good questions!! And of course beautiful answers…

    That self portrait? Takes my breath away. Gosh I say that a lot over here!!! πŸ˜‰

  19. These were great questions, and you answered them beautifully! Fun to learn more about you, Tamara. And thanks for reminding me that I have to figure out how I want to save all my photos…

  20. Got the chills with that great duet of photos of "the boys"!

    I love that somebody else would rather have a tiny cup of that sweet Jewish wine than endure the "yucky" taste of alcohol. I can do a few sips of that sweet wine.

    I love hearing your dialogue and I love you!

    1. And I love you! That wine is so sweet, but it always meant the end of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service so I had no trouble downing it as if it were juice.

  21. Oh I loved this!! She picked the perfect questions for you!! You'll have to share more about being a super taster sometime – I so enjoy wine and at least one other thing you said you can't eat, so I find the concept fascinating. The facial expressions of Des and Cassidy were so similar…isn't it awesome when you find pictures that reflect each other so well?

    PS. Thanks for the shout out on the photo management stuff! You are very kind to me!

    1. Thank you! It was awhile ago and I used to use much more contrast! I bet that town is the same town. It's VERY funky and very awesome and everyone in NJ/PA knows it!

  22. Those cookies you made for your daughter's birthday sound amazing! Yum! I'm so awful about backing up and saving photos. I'm going to check out your friend's tips. Congrats on your new book, that's awesome!

  23. You were an innkeeper too? Yes, indeedy, there are so many stories to be written, like the woman swimming au natural in the pool during a local family friendly fund raiser, or the gentleman who showed up two separate times with two different wives. . . Words just escape me. πŸ™‚

    Loved seeing behind the curtain, Tamara. Just wish we'd had a chance to connect while I was a New Englander. If you are ever down TN way, let me know!

    1. I really need..to hear your stories. We should swap. I have the family who ground a box of cereal into the carpet. Ground it. Had to be professionally cleaned. Took a week. Why..? Were they mad at us? It was done so intricately that you knew it wasn't just a kid.

  24. It’s always fun to read more about the person behind the blog. That comment by Scarlet is so sweet. Hopefully that love for everyone never changes…it’s a truly special trait.

    1. sorry for generic comment. I like all your answers especially the story about how your husband got his name. That is fun to find out info like that πŸ™‚

  25. Hubster Brittnei, lol! Great answers Tamara! I can’t imagine you not taking these fabulous photos. That for sure was in your genes! I’ll drink to that for you πŸ™‚ Be encouraged to go far in your photography and writings for you are truly gifted. Congrats on the publication. I can’t keep up with who I have and haven’t congratulated yet! I’m thrilled for you all!

    1. Thank you so much. I swear your comments are the best – I need to print them out and tape them to my head whenever I'm feeling down on myself.

  26. I appreciate that you like to stand for your own choice in life,I do want to be my own boss too and I am nowhere near yet to that dream? But I do like that your dream to have your own bakeshop and not have any bosses is brilliant! Confidence in us, like me, I really have no such thing when in person but I am in my blogs, I also love Manischewitz with my husband! I wish you the best for your kids! And Congratulations on the publication, you must be a proud woman!

    1. Thank you much! And isn't loving Manischewitz funny? It's way too sweet but it brings back memories.

      I'm not as close to my dream either. I mean, I'm doing what I love but I still have a long way to go in terms of experience and money.

  27. You should go for the bakeshop/food truck, Tamara! I think they're the coolest things!

    Congrats on the book, my dear! You guys are truly shining. It's a wonderful thing.

    I always wondered about Cassidy's name, so it's cool that Effie Girl asked about that. Cool story! And I can definitely see Cassidy in Des's smile in that last pic. Lovely!

    1. I would love that! Maybe one day.
      I’m so glad I filled in the gaps with Cassidy’s name. People probably thought it was a code name, like so many bloggers use, but nope! Totally his.

  28. I would love to own a coffee shop! It's actually my long term goal! A friend of mine opened one up on wheels and had it going for a while until the truck started to slowly break down. She is reopening this week at a stationary spot near Fishkill, NY. If you decide to take the plunge, she'd be a great resource for you.

    I'm heading over to Amazing to get the book now, I can't wait to read it!

  29. I wonder how many kids become what we as parents think they will become. Let's research that…

    No…we shouldn't…because it would stress me out and then I'd drink and then I'd realize how much I drink because you don't drink…kidding…partially.

    xoxo

  30. Now I want to go to Fishkill, NY! I also think that you're not too far from me either. I'll give you a shout if I'm ever driving a coffeeshop on wheels!

  31. 1) gorgeous black and white selfie!

    2) it makes me so happy that you love sf!

    3) i have a lot of respect for people who don't drink. i actually wish i wasn't such a wino. i would save so much money!!!

  32. food truck!! Yes. Please do. And park it right down the block from my house…or job πŸ™‚ I love the two photos of Des and Cassidy (whose name I LOVE!) they look similar πŸ™‚ As they should.

    1. I do want a food truck. Mainly I want to half run one that the family owns. So that I can still do all the writing/photography that I want. Des could be our mascot. Scarlet our sales girl.

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