My Comfort Zone - The Passing of Two Dear Friends Blog at - 273755

The Passing of Two Dear Friends

My Comfort Zone 
Apr. 25, 2012 9:59 am 
Updated: May 2, 2012 6:01 pm

Sometimes my husband says I’d rather spend time browsing and ‘talking’ with my cooking friends than spending time watching TV with him, or helping him fix things around the property.  Sometimes I think he’s right!

I remember getting Internet access for the first time in 1999; we were late since I live in a fairly rural area. I really didn’t know what to do with it; just aimlessly surfing wasn’t my thing. Of course those were the dial-up days and that took all the fun out of it.  I was still pulling all my recipes out of magazines, cookbooks and the newspaper. I was tipped off that there were ‘recipe sites’ on-line and I stumbled across  For a few years I happily used it just to browse recipes and did a fair amount of cooking from these recipes. I became an official member in 2002 so I could have a recipe box. In those days the recipe box was very limited,  I remember only being able to save 25 recipes! If I am wrong about this, feel free to correct me.

I had no idea that as the grew, it was now offering so much more than just recipes. I had no idea when I was posting photos that anyone else would see them, I didn’t realize there were articles, blogs, and I sure didn’t know about the Recipe Exchange, now “The Buzz”.  Around Fall of 2009, I clicked something and ended up in the “Exchange” and on that very day, a topic caught my eye. Folks were ‘talking’ and the conversation involved gderr and his wife as she was recovering from a catastrophic illness. I couldn’t believe what I was reading….the compassion, the support, the honesty among these people touched me deeply. I had to find out more. I saw gderr’s blogs and wanted to stay in the loop, I was concerned about Claire.  I became a lurker, for several months. I learned so much about cooking, bread making, decorating, stain removal etc. just from browsing the posts. I got to ‘know’ everybody. I knew who was first to offer help, who had a sharp, witty tongue with a gift for writing, who had a great shoulder to lean on, who could be a bit snarky, who always seemed to have sensible answers to complex non-cooking problems.  I posted my first recipe request in March of 2010. And guess what? The first person to respond was just who I thought it would be!  Soon I found myself on the Exchange as much as possible without letting my house fall apart, and on the days I worked, I couldn’t wait to get home, get everyone settled for the night and check in to AR and see what I had missed!

My absolute favorite memory from my time on AR is the spontaneous ‘virtual party’ that was started by redneck gramma to honor Cindy Lepp and to let her know that she was not alone as she struggled with her husband’s cancer.  For those of you who may have missed the party…it went on for days.  We had lots of fun partying on Cindy’s lawn, causing mischief, drinking too much and sharing lots of words in support.  This wonderful celebration was put into manuscript form by Lady Sparkle with Baking Nana assisting, along with the recipes and photos that we all contributed. This was given to Cindy; and to me, it represents how much we all love and care for her.  A memorial bench, plaque and tree was installed in her husband’s hometown from contributions we all made.  

Keeping my husband posted on what was going on with Cindy, what we were doing, convinced him that my ‘friends’ were REAL. He soon stopped teasing me about spending so much time here. The people that contribute to allrecipes really are my friends and AR is MY comfort zone, I can come here for answers, support, even a shoulder to lean on. I am safe here. The folks here come from all walks of life, and from all over the map. A love of cooking is the stong common link among us.  Allrecipes is what bonds us together.

Apr. 25, 2012 10:23 am
This All Recipes post rung a high note for me. I remember the very first people to comment on my first post were Avon and Lace. The subjects of your post I will happily verify and applaud. As you know, I received a huge ammount of support from you and many other members here. Thank you, Wyattdogster!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:24 am
Thank you for your very kind comments Mike! I miss some of the old characters who don't come around anymore but happily, new faces fill in!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:29 am
Well, of course I'm real, Wyattdogster! And, I'm really glad I read your blog. It's very similar to my story. I hope to have some face time with you very soon!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:43 am
Nice blog! Such a great community isn't it? There's so much to be had here, aside from recipes!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:51 am
Bibi, hopefully we'll be sitting at the same table soon!
Apr. 25, 2012 11:52 am
Thank you Lissa, and you're so right!
Apr. 25, 2012 12:02 pm
This was so good, what a wonderful story and you are a talented writer.
Apr. 25, 2012 1:40 pm
Hey Wyattdogster - We really are all real, aren't we??!! I have been the receipient of many kind words and offers of support over the few years that I have been a member here. Some day I'd love to meet you in person!
Apr. 25, 2012 1:55 pm
Joey, thank you for the compliment,you are sweet!
Apr. 25, 2012 2:02 pm
As real as apple pie, Mother Ann! It is an amazing gift that we are able to comfort one another here, in the way that we do. I'd love to meet you too....for 'real'. Maybe we can make that happen someday!
Apr. 25, 2012 9:38 pm
my doggster! we all love you! if i had to write a' " why i like allrecipes blog" i would be staring over your shoulder and copying ! you are certainly one of my very favorites on this site. i love your wit! and your knowledge of music is ( )as good as mine. i and so many attendees to the next southern round-up wish we could meet you in person! please try and make it. this is NOT a formal's more let's bribe somebody to wrestle a gater! i had no idea you have been on ar so long...interesting changes. these guys are sitting at the adult table now! give your old man a swift kick and head south in september!
Apr. 25, 2012 9:47 pm
well..actually jello-wrestle a gater, sorry for not making myself clear.
Apr. 26, 2012 4:25 am
Glad you clarified that Gary, now that there's jello involved.....I'm game! Thank you for such sweet comments, isn't if funny how 'random' people can touch each other's hearts, just out of the blue? I I KNOW, that if I hadn't seen that post revolving around you and Claire I would not have come back to the exchange. The last thing I was looking for was a place to 'fritter' away time! Comments made by you hit me hard, your blogs brought tears to my eyes...who could turn away from that? So, in a's all your fault!!!
Apr. 27, 2012 7:05 am
That is such a great story wyattdogster. I came her a while after Claire had had her stroke.I started reading his blogs also. That is when I really got to coming here everyday.Also with Cindy and her husbands illness.I could relate due to my husband was and is still battling cancer.I am not a smurf yet,but want to be and plan to be real soon.Thank you for a great blog.
Apr. 27, 2012 5:08 pm
Apr. 27, 2012 6:11 pm
Thank you char, such a special place here!
Apr. 27, 2012 6:11 pm
@ sassy, happy face back at ya girl!
May 2, 2012 3:18 am
Hi, Another winning blog. The "Family" with all it's seasons seems real to me. It's a great place to spend part of a day. cheers.
May 2, 2012 3:22 am
Thanks Don, that's a great way to describe it!
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Home Town
Annandale, Virginia, USA
Living In
Warrenton, Virginia, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2002

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Healthy, Dessert, Gourmet

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About Me
My adventure in cooking began when my mom gave me the Betty Crocker Boys and Girls cookbook when I was 7, I would read it cover to cover and try out the recipes whenever Mom was willing to help me. I still have that battered old cookbook, and my daughter's first cooking attempts were inspired from those same recipes. She is a teenager now, and I love having her cook with me in the kitchen. I am happily married, entering my 34th year as an RN, and work part-time at a local hospital. Oh... I love my dogs, my horse and..... my chickens (they bless me with plenty of fresh eggs every day)!!
My favorite things to cook
Anything ethnic, soups and stews, spicy and highly seasoned foods and the tried and trues that my family loves. I also love to do desserts and that is what I am usually asked to bring to pot lucks.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Having a family dinner is our most important tradition in general but there is always Jambalaya on Fat Tuesday, shrimp scampi with homemade fettucine every Valentine's Day, cheese fondue on special occasions, Black Eye Peas on New Years and the dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies!
My cooking triumphs
No doubt the Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle I made for a Christmas Eve dinner when I was 19! So scrumtious and pretty too!
My cooking tragedies
Eggplant Parmesan..a big gooey mess and why did I try??? I hate eggplant!
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