The other day when reading one of the blogs I am subscribed too, I noticed that the blog’s host was the recipient of three blog awards: The Stylish Blogger, The Versatile Blogger, and The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. The recipient was Deborah @ The Monster in Your Closet—and her wit and careful observation of the world around her, including her delightful little boy, are truly deserving of the awards. You should check out her blog!
These awards are given by bloggers to other bloggers. There are some basic rules. First, each recipient needs to identify the one who bestowed the award on him or her–and share extensive thanks. Second, the blogger receiving the award needs to share seven details not readily known about him or herself. Third, the recipient passes the award along to 15 other bloggers. Fourth, be sure to alert the new award recipients they are winners! Receiving one of the awards is a great honor as well as a chance to champion the bloggers each recipient reads and enjoys on a regular basis. Everyone gets a chance to broaden their interactions.
I am telling you all this, because Deborah named me as one of her recipients of all three awards. I had to reread to be sure I saw correctly. I have not been blogging very long, so this does indeed feel like a great honor. My first thought was thanks and appreciation to Deborah for awarding these honors on my blog. My second thought was really a worry: How can I identify 15 bloggers to pass these awards on to? I do subscribe to a handful of blogs—and I add more every week mostly from reading freshly pressed blogs—but naming 15 quality these-are-great-to-highlight-and-share blogs? I felt overwhelmed. But then I started reviewing all of my subscriptions, noting which ones I especially like to see pop into my email, which ones routinely make me laugh or think or nod in agreement. All of a sudden, finding only 15 did not seem so easy. So I made myself a new criteria—I would nominate from those I had been following for more than three weeks or so.
Rather than giving all three awards to all on my truly-read-and-appreciate list, I have identified at least one person for each award, but most are getting “The Versatile Blogger” Award. The list is given below. Keep in mind that my short synopsis of each site does not do the site justice. You need to see them for yourself, so please follow the links . . . and enjoy. I am not sure if this is following or breaking the rules, but I have named two website/blogs that are not housed at WordPress. The following list is not presented in any special order.
Malinda @ Dendrochronology: Her subtitle is “The rings of life, thought, and action.” Her postings are always honest, perceptive, and provocative as she shares life’s insights about many things, such as blogging, summer schedules or her daughter’s foray into the world of volunteerism. She is also starting to share photos that capture the world around her. Enjoy!
Tricia @ Tricia Booker Photography: Her home page is headed with this great Emerson quote: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” She presents photographs each day—often just one—that captures that quote’s appreciation of life. The first image of hers I saw was a flower, but she also shares views of birds and kids and dogs and horses and many other things. Her work captures the wonder of life. Enjoy!
Lisa @ The Big Sheep Blog: Her subtitle is “Where imagination, business and life collide.” She sees (and shares) humor in life’s irritations and looks for balance, sharing entries on a range of topics from the evolution of bathing suits to shopping mall horrors, from eating fast food to insights on today’s media. She’s a freelance writer who also shares her insights about life in her world. Enjoy!
Phil @ Strange Bird: His subtitle is “Paying attention to every moment . . . right now.” His postings offer a consistent format: a provocative juxtaposition of vivid image, poetry and video that helps his readers see things from a new perspective. His versatility comes from the range of topics he explores from birth to dance to liminality. He always surprises me. . . and makes me think. Enjoy!
Dusty @ Around Dusty Roads: She is “a woman of a certain age” who narrates her travels—near home and afar—with attention to all the details: vistas and tour logistics as well as local flora and fauna. She gives you a chance to be there too. I first started traveling with her when she was visiting Sedona, but now that she is back home she has also explored local area forts and museums. Enjoy!
Susan @ Creative Procrastination: She is a wife and mother who lives in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, VA. She is a great storyteller who writes about writing, nature, country life, and the antics of her Jack Russell Terrier; her posts often culminate in lessons from the homestead. As an added bonus, she is an expert on Dr. Suess and shares some of his quotes periodically. Enjoy!
Lee @ Lee Rentz Photography: As a professional photographer, his postings include terrific photos that document his life and travels. Whether he is on a birding trip, out camping or hiking, visiting a flower show, or capturing the wonders of city life, his artistic eye captures the wonder of his subjects through a focus on color, form, and texture. Enjoy!
Darice @ Grown Up for Real! Her postings share her realizations about career, family, and relationships as she tries to balance the grown-up stuff in her life. She shares wit, wisdom, and keen observations as she provides book referrals, thoughtful quotes, and insights about life. Her postings are often direct and to the point, especially on Wordless Wednesdays and Post-It Note Tuesdays. Enjoy!
Jesse @ Succincity: His subtitle is “Business, Marketing, and How People Work.” Succinct is a great adjective for his ability to clarify and simplify the elements of marketing and business—but his insights are most often applicable to all of life, especially since his main focus is on people. Whether he is talking about culture and honesty or personal breweries and 7-11, he makes me think and appreciate in new ways. Enjoy!
Tim @ Slouching towards Thatcham: His subtitle is “Tales from the front-line of life, fatherhood and the living room sofa.” He offers thoughtful often imaginative comments on varying aspects of fatherhood and society, questioning—for example—who is really disabled and whether little boys should wear pink. He also offers reviews on film, video and TV shows such as “The Apprentice,” “Dr. Who,” and “American Idol.” Enjoy!
Cheryl & Ismail @ Honest Course: The subtitle of this website/blog is “Celebrating honesty and integrity in society, government, and individuals.” This is a relatively new site that is not hosted by WordPress. Much like Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent, this site can seem unassuming, but it is dedicated to truth, justice, and perhaps even the American Way. It’s worth a look. Enjoy!
Emily @ The Heart of the Artist: This is another non-WordPress website/blog that is worth some attention. This site is dedicated to celebrating the creative process and giving glimpses into the artists as well as their work. Some of the artists named on the above list might want to sign up as one of the artists to be showcased. Enjoy!
Jean @ Jean of All Trades: She first caught my eye when she shared photos of the art and fashion she encountered in Santa Fe, NM. Since then, she has been intriguing, sharing fashion shots with flair and passion. But her postings also offer insightful comments on such topics as feminism in the media. Enjoy!
Nana @ Inside NanaBread’s Head: Her subtitle explains that her blog is a lot like her junk drawers, full of “tidbits, trash, and treasures.” Her friendly, cheerful postings comment on many aspects of life, including family, crafts, and travel, but she also willingly shares recipes and photos that make you think you can create these dishes as well. Her recipes range from oatmeal cookies and tart cherry dark chocolate bark to smoky baby back ribs. Enjoy!
Natalie @ While I Breathe, I Hope: Her open, honest, witty postings share insights about her life and family in Pittsburgh—and that family includes a great Great Dane. On top of that, she makes cooking look easy as she shares recipes and photos that literally make you hungry. Enjoy!
Now comes the really hard part: Sharing seven details about myself that most people probably don’t know. As you can see, I have added my own qualifiers so I can stop worrying if I mentioned some aspect of these details already somewhere on my blog. I suppose one of my items could be that I do not always remember everything I write, but I do tend to remember what I read!
Here are the details:
- When I was little, maybe 4 or 5, I flew with an older cousin in a small two-seater plane. He had gotten his pilot license and was showing off. My memory is not real clear, but my general sense if that I had a great time just barely being able to really see out the windows. He is now a retired engineering professor living in Canada who will be in CA for a meeting and for visits with family this weekend. I plan to get more details from him to help my memory. But I think it is this experience that has me hoping to eventually go up in a hot air balloon and maybe even skydive!
- I really like elephants. I imagine I have said that before in a blog entry or two. But when I was a kid, again maybe about 5, I was taken to the zoo and there was a baby elephant there. I fell in love. We lived in Chicago at the time, and I was determined to have a baby elephant as a birthday present. I did not get what I wanted, but I did have a plan: she would live in the basement, eat cheerios, and play in the back yard. Made sense to me—and started my fascination with these gentle giants.
- When I first went to graduate school, I was an English major—in fact, I specialized in American Literature. Of course, I have read the classics. Except Moby Dick. I started that tome several times, wrote papers on it, took tests on it, refer to it when teaching, enjoy the references to it in Star Trek, but I have not read it from cover-to-cover. Ssh. Don’t tell anyone.
- I have read pretty much all the works of Robert Frost and Walt Whitman. They, in fact, are my two favorite poets. In so many ways they are not alike, but they have a core appreciation of nature, life, and its cycles that comes through in their work. They are both apt to write about fences and roads and wandering the fields—and I think in part my love of nature comes from their vivid presentations that so capture the mind and imagination.
- If asked, I am quick to point out that I am NOT a watcher of Reality TV. How can anyone enjoy (or waste their time) on such shows as The Jersey Shore or The Real Housewives of Whereever? I can get fairly snooty about this fact. So it is rather embarrassing to admit that I do watch shows such as Judge Judy, People’s Court, and Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. I swear, I managed to keep myself from realizing they too are Reality TV. See, you can get people to believe anything!
- Did I mention that I really, really like elephants? Over 10 years ago now, I had a great experience through a weekend class. I was part of a group that toured a wild animal ranch housing animals who were all movie stars. The best part of the day was being able to give Nellie, a 7.5 year old African elephant, a bath. She loved it! We all got drenched. Rather than sponges, we used brushes and hoses—but it was great fun! I would do it again in an instant.
- I am a cancer survivor. In February 2012 it will be five years since I had the full complete hysterectomy that got all the cancer. I did not even need radiation or chemo-therapy. I felt very blessed, especially given what suffering so many cancer patients have to contend with. I do not talk about this much, but the awareness of being that close to death and surviving changed my perspective. That experience urged me to be more vigilant in appreciating life, going out to play, and telling people how much they mean to me.
That’s it! That’s my seven things most people probably did not know about me! Please take a minute to visit the blogs I listed above as blog award recipients—they are cherishing and reporting on life in great ways. We all should go out and play!
Thanks for reading.