community

Are we losing real connection with social media?

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Just yesterday I was talking with my friend at breakfast about how we used to write letters to our friends and family as late as in the 1990’s. We reminisced about the letters that we still have tucked away from friends that we kept in touch with. We remarked on how amazed we were that we took so much time to write many pages about how our lives were going and waited for our friends to respond.

Old Letters:

I recently de-cluttered my old letters and memory items and I kept one whole binder full of them. I was amazed at how detailed the letters were and how heartfelt they were. I found that the friends that I used to connect with through letters (long distance friends) were all now on social media (myself included) and how I felt that I lost a real personal connection to them. I can see through their photos and comments more or less how their lives are going, but these stories don’t encompass how they themselves are going through life and what their dreams, hopes and disappointments are. I miss that real connection to them. When we used to write letters to each other we only focused on one person at a time, writing to them and sharing our lives and also feeling so honored that they personally shared theirs with us by writing to us. Even with message apps like Facebook messenger and Whatsapp I feel that the personal connection is a little lost in the immediacy of the messages.

Real Human Connection:

Even though I am still on social media I have really started to prefer making time to meet people in person for coffee, tea, breakfast or lunch. We have a real human connection over a drink or a meal and we can really be in the present moment with each other and give each other attention. This is real human connection and there is nothing else like it. When you see someone eye to eye, there is a real bond and real caring there.

Connections to long distance friends:

I have been musing about how to connect more to long distance friends away from social media or messaging apps as well. I have many local friends that I try to see once a month or every couple of months. However, I do have some dear friends who are long distance that I want to maintain a deeper connection with. I think in the coming weeks I am going to suggest to them that we write each other letters, emails or set up a Zoom or Skype call maybe once a month to really be able to be in the present moment and connect with each other. I miss really knowing how they are in their lives. I miss knowing all of the nuances and the details that we told each other over letters.

On social media we can get some of the story of someone’s life- the highlight reel as it were. It is a wonderful thing in some respects because we can see places they have been, photos of major events and musings about daily life. However, I think that we really miss the personal details and some of the struggles that our friends used to share with us in a more intimate way. I feel that I am growing further apart from the people that I only see on social media and not through any other medium. I feel that I have to sift through the clutter of so many posts and also advertisements to really see a glimpse of what is going on in their lives. It begins to feel impersonal.

I am beginning to evaluate my relationship with social media as well. I don’t post as many personal things as I used to. I might post something about myself or my family maybe once a month or every couple of weeks because it just doesn’t feel very personal to me. That being said, I have made some very lasting connections in Facebook groups and we have kept the conversation going with other mediums such as Skype.

This week after this conversation with my friend, more than ever I am seeking to see people in person more often, to make real connections and to find ways to communicate more personally with some dear friends who are long distance.

I would love to know your thoughts on social media. Do you feel a real connection there? Do you meet people in person very much these days?

Feel free to comment below on your experiences or email me at:

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

—Trista

Let's Grow Together!

Let's grow together!

This blog post is the third in a multi-part series about building my dream: a local café with lots of heart & big projects for the community!

Today I’d like to talk about my vision for a kitchen garden for the café. One of my most favorite books is “The Secret Garden.” I love how in this book a young girl is transformed by her time working in her own garden space and how she gains confidence through this work. I think it’s important to our community to have a kitchen garden and a space where we can all learn to grow together- not only herbs, vegetables and fruits- but also learning that we all take care of this earth together so we must learn to treat every garden as our own.

I envision a lovely kitchen garden near the café that is tended by some team members and also members of the community. I can imagine that there will be garden tours, plants grown to attract birds and butterflies as well as organic produce grown there. It will be a wonderful outdoor classroom for local people to learn from and participate in.

Some of the herbs that would be lovely to grow in the garden are:

·         Rosemary

·         Thyme

·         Basil

·          Chives

·         Oregano

·         Lemon balm

·         Sage

·         Lavender & more!

I also see that many vegetables, greens, berry plants and dwarf fruit trees can be grown as well to add to seasonal dishes and desserts.

Not only do I see the kitchen garden providing lovely produce for the café’s dishes, I see partnering with local farmers and orchard owners for wonderful products to use as well.

What do you see in this garden we are growing together? I welcome all ideas and I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below, or email me at: info@thecheerychef.com. Thank you so much!

With lots of care,

Trista

 

 

A Meeting Place

A meeting place

This is another blog post in a many part series about my dream cafe. I am working every week on making this dream a reality here in my community and I know that this is going to be an amazing place. That is why I want to share all of the details with you! Please let me know the thoughts you have on this.

Today's post is about the type of meeting place I want the cafe to be. Also, I will share the features of the cafe. Community is the core of my cafe so I plan to host lots of events there and also have space where others can host events of their own. 

 Here are my thoughts on that: 

Meetings: 

  • There will be a meeting room with a TV/projection area for anyone to reserve ahead of time. It will be free of charge but most be reserved. People in the meeting space may order coffee, pastries or food to be brought to the meeting room. 
  • There will be a monthly "meet your neighbor" event held at the cafe where some of the coffee/treats will be provided by us. This will foster communication in the community. 
  • Events: In the main house there will be a special sit-down tea event each month. Customers can buy tickets to this event. 

I'd love to hear more ideas on events at the cafe. I also envision gardening classes & other classes that could be held in the meeting room for all to enjoy. 

 Features of the café- types of food served, the bakery, coffee bar, hours, meetings & events.

Full Kitchen:

The kitchen will serve breakfast and lunch. Healthy comfort food and local ingredients. I will serve many of the same popular menu items that I serve now to clients: tamales, pot pies, beef stew, enchiladas & more! There will be paleo, vegetarian and vegan options. The kitchen will be gluten free.

Bakery:

The bakery will be open until 7pm for special order pick-ups, coffee & pastries in the early evening. Some of the items the bakery will serve:

·         Paleo granola

·         Scones

·         Pastries

·         Cookies

·         Bread

·         Cakes

·         Pies

·         Fudge

·         Special orders

 

Coffee Bar:

The coffee bar will have espresso drinks and specialty teas by the cup or pot. It will be open early so people can enjoy pastries/breakfast with their drinks.

Hours:

The café will be open from 6am to 3pm to serve breakfast and lunch. The coffee bar will be open along with the bakery until 7pm.

Meetings/Events:

There will be a meeting room with a TV for anyone to reserve ahead of time. There will be a monthly “meet your neighbor” event sponsored by the café. In the main house there will be a special sit down tea event each month. This is community seating at one large table. Reservation only and monthly themes.

Thank you so much! 

With lots of care,

Trista

Building a Dream

Building a Dream: My Cafe

I apologize for the delay in this new blog post. I usually try to post once a week, but now with many more meal service clients I don't always have the time to work in the kitchen to come up with brand new recipes. I am so very grateful for my abundance though! I am so thrilled to be so very busy cooking and preparing meals for clients. It brings me great joy! 

I wanted to share with you this very special project that I am working on. It is a long term project, a dream of mine that is taking shape, day by day. Dreams come in visions, baby steps, emails, phone calls, vision boards, trial and error, connections, conversations, meditations & more. 

Today I took the day to outline my dream in great detail and also make a vision board about it. 

Here are a few details that are important to my vision. I outlined many thing in my notebook today, but these points are the most powerful that I want to share with you. My "why" for this cafe is not about the food, baked goods or coffee, it is about community. 

Community & Inclusion: 

When I thought about what community and inclusion, these things came to mind: 

What community means to me is that we truly listen to each other without judgement to find common ground. We are all connected on Earth in ways that are amazing to imagine. All of the choices that we make are important and make a difference. I believe that if we can truly get to know those around us we can see that we ALL have some things in common as human beings: 

-to be seen

-to be heard

-to matter

-to find happiness

-to know our value

-to understand our special gifts

-to leave a legacy

-to experience joy

-to give back

These are things that we all feel in our lives. What does community and inclusion mean to you? I'll be writing several posts on this topic and hopefully sprinkle in some recipes as well. 

I wish you joy today,

Trista