My 100th WordPress Follower

Kathryn Johnston @ 4am Writer

As you may know, those who follow my blog, reading my posts and commenting, are very important to me. It is all of you who keep me motivated to write more and confident enough to write at all. I, of course, appreciate each and every one of you, however, one blogger has come to follow me that I want to acknowledge in a different way. She is my 100th WordPress followerand this is for me, a sort of milestone.Kathryn Johnston, author of 4amWriter, among other published works, is my 100th follower and an amazingly talented writer. Not only is she really gifted in what she does, but she shares many “how-to” tidbits on becoming better writer’s ourselves. Her blog is rich with a vast amount of good, easy to follow, and effective information and is just an overall pleasure to read.

I feel a deep sense of honor when I learn that published authors follow my blog, and Kathryn is no exception. Thank you so much for your interest in my writing. I welcome any criticism that you may have to offer. I, too, dream of someday being published and will not give up no matter how many doors close. If there is one thing my life has taught me is that for every door that closes, there are two or more opening. It is up to me to be patient and believe that my hard work will pay off, as long as I keep my eyes and my mind open to the many possibilities.

Please, anyone reading this post, take a moment and visit 4amWriter! I guarantee that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so. By the way, the picture posted is one I obtained from 4amWriter’s Facebook page, because for security reasons, I was unable to load her Gravatar pic from WordPress. So, you can check her out on Facebook too! How cool, huh?

Awesome Blog Content Number Three

I have been nominated for the ABC Award for the third time! The ABC stands for Awesome Blog Content. And this glorious nomination was passed on to me by Dr. Angela of A Kiss of Bliss. Thank you, Angi, so much for this awesome award, for reading my blog, and finding me worthy of this humbling recognition. I am truly grateful, as well as honored!

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. There is no limit to how many fellow bloggers you can nominate so go wild. He-he.
  3. Share some things about you but alphabetically just a word or two about you starting with each alphabet. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of.)

My Awesome Blog Content Award Nominees:

kissingthecockroach

joeandjulieskitchen

Five Reflections

Assia’s Kaleidoscope

♡ The Tale Of My Heart ♡

Baker Bettie

semiswede

DivingǀArchaeology

Foodimentary

Lea & Jay

My A to Zzzz’s:

A—ARTICHOKE HEARTS

B—BANANA PUDDING

C—CAULIFLOWER

D—DEVILED EGGS

E—EGGPLANT PARMESAN

F—FRIED

G—GARLIC

H—HOMEMADE BISCUITS

I—ICED TEA

J—JAMBALAYA

K—KIELBASA

L—LEMON MERINGUE PIE

M—MUSHROOMS

N—NUTTERBUTTER COOKIES

O—OKRA

P—PARSLEY

Q—QUESADILLA

R—RISOTTO

S—SPINACH LASAGNA

T—TIRAMISU

U—UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

V—VANILLA ICE CREAM

W—WAFFLES

X—XAVIER SOUPPE

Y—YOGURT

Z—ZITI

These ten bloggers do have some awesome things posted on their blogs! In following my food theme, some of them have great recipes, but some of them are great for other reasons. Can you guess which is which? If not, the answer lies within a simple click!

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“Tell Me About Yourself” Blog Award

I have received another really cool award that I would like to honor some blogger friends with. Carla from Seasons Change, and Change… has nominated me for the Tell Me About Yourself Award. I am happy and excited that she wants to know more about me and is affording me this opportunity to post these things on my own blog for others to get to know me better also. Thank you so much, Carla!

Do you have people who you enjoy the exchange of reading each other’s blogs every day? I do and I learn a lot about who they are and I like that. I also like the people who are reading my blogs and getting to know me as a real person. So, I am going to present the nomination of this award to 7 of my blogger friends whom I think are very interesting people and I would love to know more about them.

  1. You will need to Thank the person that nominated you first (me) and link the blog to that person before you start.
  2. Then you will have to tell the world 7 things we might find interesting about you.
  3. Then you add your 7 nominees.

Seven New Things About Moi:

Ooooo! This is going to be good! I have come up with some really old and unique memories to share with you. And a few that you may never have seen coming. Are you ready?

  1. I think I was about five years old when my father started teaching me how to bowl. He coached me for quite a few years. When I was eight, he entered me into a youth tournament and I made it to the state championship, where I won first prize with a score of 188. I still have my little bowling shirt which is covered in patches I won through those years of bowling.
  2. Do you remember when you learned how to ride a bike? I do. At first, I had a bike that was mostly plastic, had training wheels, and looked like a little motorcycle. My friend, Polly, and I rode that thing up and down the street all the time. When the training wheels came off, we both tried to learn to ride it without them, but we were not very successful. When I was eight years old, I received a pink Huffy for Christmas (ok, so I was almost nine, as my birthday is in February). My aunt and uncle and two cousins were coming to visit us in Florida, all the way from Michigan, for the holidays. My poor mother spent two hours (in her robe, since I absolutely could not wait a single second, not even long enough for her to get dressed) working with me on being able to ride that beautiful two-wheeler before my cousin got there. I learned, finally, and when they got to my house, my cousin, Dawn, borrowed my mother’s 10-speed and we went for a ride around the block. A great day and a great memory for me!
  3. On July 4, 1953, my Aunt Teresa was born. Tragically, on July 4, 1978, a short 25 years later, she was killed by a drunk driver. It was her 25th birthday and she and her husband, my Uncle Kyle, and my sweet baby cousin, Ryan (18 months old), were on their way to my Memaw and Pappy’s house to celebrate her birthday. In the few miles from their house to my grandparents house, they were struck, on my aunt’s side of the truck, by another truck driven by a 15-year-old girl, accompanied by two other 15-year-old girls, all of whom had been drinking. The girls had blown right through a stop sign, side swiping my aunt and uncle. Aunt Teresa died less than two hours after arriving to the hospital. I was only seven years old when this happened, but remember it like it was yesterday. Aunt Teresa was my mother’s younger, and only sister. The cake my mother baked for her that day was an owl, as my Aunt Teresa loved owls. I don’t remember her very well, but I do remember that she was very sweet.
  4. My very first pet, at least that I remember, I received when I was about four, and shortly after we moved from Michigan to Florida. He was a “mutt” dog, but I remember he had white, super curly fur. His name was simply, JJ, and was very playful. Then one morning I woke up and he was gone. My father had to tell me that JJ had run away. The only other thing I can remember about JJ and his running away was when my father showed me a newspaper clipping that had a picture of JJ running across some street somewhere. I never say JJ again.
  5. When I was in my early teens, my Pappy agreed to let me clean his house once a week, so I could earn some money. First let me tell you that my Pappy served a million years in the Air Force, so clean for him was so far out of my league, that this was quite the challenge for me. Also, my mother had told me, on more than one occasion, that she and My Aunt Teresa would spend the entire day on Saturday, every Saturday, cleaning the house and putting all they had into it. They wanted to please and impress their father. He would come home after spending the day at the base, and say things like, “What have you girls been doing all day? I thought I told you to clean this house.” And this was seconds after walking through the door. My poor mother’s heart was broken week after week. Fortunately for me, my Pappy had mellowed quite a bit by the time I came along to try to fill my mother’s shoes. He would actually say that I had done a good job, “…but let me show you something…” he would tell me. He would then find one thing that I had cleaned and showed me, himself, how to do it better. That turned out to be a good thing, as I am much more thorough in cleaning than I might otherwise have been. (Whew! All of that and I have not yet come to the part I want to share. I better get to it then, wouldn’t you say?) Pappy paid me $25 every week for cleaning his house and I would take the money home and stuff it under the pads that lined the frame of my water bed. One day, I decided to look and see how much I had saved. I was shocked to have counted over $500 and showed my mother immediately. After some discussion, she asked me what I wanted to do with it. I chose to redecorate my bedroom. I got new sheets, pillows, throw pillows, comforter, blinds and curtains, books, cassette tapes, garbage can, and other stuff that is eluding me at the moment. And I had money left over! I was very proud of myself for not only having earned and saved the money, but spending it in a way that I had something to show for it for a very long time.
  6. Here is something very few people know. My real, birth certificate name is Cynthia Lynn. My sister’s was Virginia Renee. Our last name was Riemersma. My father has been a police officer his entire adult life (he retired in 1998); eight years in Michigan and another 23 years in Florida. When we moved to Florida, south Florida in Homestead which is about 40 miles south of Miami, he would answer the phone, “Officer Riemersma” (Ŕē-mer-smŭ—best I can do), and, because so many people in that area were from Cuba, they thought he said, “Ramirez” and would proceed to speak to him in Spanish. This became really frustrating for my father, so to fix the situation, he petitioned the court for a name change. His full name was Clark John Riemersma, and he elected to change it legally to C.J. Clark (the last name changed for all of us). My little sister spoke right up and said she hated the name Virginia and wanted my father to also change her name to the one we called her, Ginger. This name change occurred in 1980, when I was in the fourth grade.  I got married in 1992, taking the last name Messer, and when I divorced in 1998, I requested that I could return to my birth certificate surname of Riemersma, rather than go back to Clark. Now, backing up quite a bit, followed by jumping to quite a few years later, I will tell you the boy names my mother had picked for myself and my sister, and then the girl names I had picked for both of my boys. Had I been born a boy, my name would have been Nicholas Wayne, and had my sister been born a boy, she would have been named Benjamin Dwayne. The first names are cool, but I would not have been too thrilled with either of our middle names. For my first-born, Jeremiah Claybourn, I had chosen the name Monica Mae if he had been born a girl. I like the name Monica and Mae is the name of the best friend I left behind in Florida when I moved to Oregon. For my youngest son, Zachariah James, I had picked out the girl name of Lela Mozelle. Lela was Jeremy and Zachary’s father’s paternal grandmother’s name, and Mozelle (don’t you dare laugh!) was the name of my Memaw, my mother’s mother. I still think it is a beautiful name!
  7. This last one is a doozy! When my parents divorced, my mother had to return to work, and to ensure she could support my sister and I, she pulled us out of our private school, which we had attended since kindergarten, and placed us into public school, Avocado Elementary School. I was in fifth grade and my sister was in second grade that year. One morning when my sister had walked to school (I cannot for the life of me remember where I was that day), as she came to the edge of the property, she cut through a small field that led to the parking lot. As she was walking through the field, she tripped and fell. What she had tripped over was none other than a women’s dead body! Naturally, she freaked out, and ran all the way back home. When she got through the door, she picked up the phone and called my mother at work, but she was so hysterical, she couldn’t speak. Finally, when my mother could get nothing more than screams and sobbing out of her, she told my sister to stay right where she was and then drove like a maniac to get home. Again, I cannot remember where I was during this insanity, but I vaguely remember cops being at the house to interview my sister. She had nightmares for many months after that.

Is that enough about me???? Yeah, I think that’s enough for one day! (I am going to borrow this, Carla, as it seems appropriate after all I have written. Lol I hope you don’t mind?)

My Seven Nominations are:

      1. Raw Recovery
      2. Rockdweller’s Blog
      3. Ladywithatruck
      4. I Am Not Lost, Just Weird
      5. iamnotshe
      6. Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
      7. Bluebird Blvd. This last blog is written by Courtenay, a sweet and amazing woman, with wonderfulness throughout her blog. Now, I must acknowledge that she has requested not to be nominated for any awards. As a matter of fact, I have all the blogs I follow listed in a Word document for easy access when I post my awards and she is listed like this: Bluebird Blvd.— No awards, please! I have done really well in honoring and respecting her wishes, and in no way expect her to post this as a result of my nomination. I nominate her for two reasons. First, this is my way of letting her know, as the award implies, that I would like to know more about her, whether through the award or by other means, as we have been doing through comments. And secondly, I would really like anyone who reads this post to go see her blog, if you haven’t already. It truly is amazing!

Now, don’t get me wrong; ALL of the blogs I have listed, including the one that nominated me, are just as amazing, very insightful, and ones I read regularly and cannot seem to get enough of. But don’t take my word for it. Give them all a click and a read and see for yourself.

My Top Recent Commenter Award

The Top Recent Commenters Award

What goes around, comes around! This cliché’ couldn’t be truer than this, my first Top Recent Commenter Award! Kellie Seeis one of my own top commenters and I am one of hers as well! How cool is that? Thank you, Kellie, for passing this back to me. I am very excited to answer the questions I set forth for this award! If you go see Kellie’s blog, you will immediately understand why I often comment on her work! She really inspires the artist in me!The Top Recent Commenter’s Award! This award is a little different from the norm. Instead of awarding others for their own blogs, you will be giving recognition to those who visit your own blog regularly, take the time to really read your posts, and provide you with feedback via their comments. The nominations are the easiest part. You should nominate the six bloggers who comment most frequently on your blog. How do you know who does this most often? Good question!

You will find your Top Recent Commenters on your site stats page on the bottom, right corner. If you do not see this, click on the Screen Options in the top, right corner and be sure that “Comments” is checked. If you are good about responding to every comment, then you will be the first one in the list. It is the next six commenters on the list that you will nominate and pass this award to. But wait! You may nominate one more person. This person can either be a brand new commenter on your blog, the very last comment you have received (most recent), or the one who has posted your most favorite comments. This seventh nomination is your choice, but please do tell us why you have chosen them as your seventh.

The rules are relatively similar to most other awards, but the questions will be a bit more personal so that we may get to know YOU a little better. The rules include thanking the one who passed the award to you and linking them back to your post; nominating your six top recent commenters and one more blogger of your choice, and notifying them of your appreciation and their award, and then answering the questions that follow:

      1. Tell us about one of your most cherished childhood memories.

My most favorite childhood memories were hanging out with my Aunt Bunny, who called me “Ladybug,” listening to her hum, and letting her pamper me by doing my hair and nails.

      1. Tell us about one of your most cherished memories with your child(ren). If you do not have children, then share one of your pet(s). If you do not have pets either, then one with niece(s), nephew(s), or any combination thereof.

Since I have covered a few of these about my youngest son, Zachary, in my post My Little Boy, I will share a couple of my best memories of my oldest son, Jeremiah. One such memory is that when he was little, about the age when he was moving from his crib to his first big boy bed, he would get scared when I turned out the light. He would say, “Mommy, please turn on the light. I can’t see my eyes!” I would turn on a night light and ask him, “Can you see your eyes now?” He would then say, “Yes, Mommy. That is much better. I can see them now.” Another memory I have with Jeremiah is when he would bring rocks to me, present them to me as if they were the rarest and most precious gem, and the pure joy on his face when I agreed that it was the best one yet. If only you could see his little face!

      1. Tell us one thing you have learned from one or both of your parents that has stuck with you throughout the years.

This is an easy one. My mother always told me, “There is a bright side to everything. Sometimes you can’t see it, so you may have to look for it, but it is there, and it always will be.” I have thought of that many, many times over the years, and in fact, it was the one thing, when nothing else could, that kept me going and hanging on during my darkest days loaded and living on the streets. And it has always been true for me. There were times that I could not see it for days, and sometimes weeks, but because I believed it was true, I didn’t give up before it came to me, giving me hope. Thank you, Mom!

      1. Tell us one thing that you have taught (or intend to teach) your child(ren) that you are hopeful will stick with them throughout their lifetime.

Honesty! Absolutely at the top of the list. I have told them that lying always hurts more than the truth. I have taught them that if they are honest with me, no matter what the situation, then we would discuss it, that I may be disappointed, and that I will be a lot more mindful of their actions, but if they lie to me, then they will receive a double punishment (by that I mean no TV or no friends over for two weekends in a row); one for the bad behavior and one for lying about it. My youngest son would come to me and say, “Mom, you’re going to be mad, but you said I could always be honest with you…” Whenever it was possible (meaning if he hadn’t broken the law or hurt someone or potentially put himself in danger) I would stick to my word, have a conversation, listen to his take on it, tell him how I felt, and then let it go, because he came to me and was honest! However, they knew that did not mean they could “get away” with anything. The pain I have suffered throughout my lifetime due solely to being lied to by someone I loved and trusted is why this was the most important things I could teach my boys.

      1. Tell us about your favorite job, whether it is one you hold now or one from the past, and why you enjoy(ed) it.

I had a job at a company that made and repaired eyeglasses. In the beginning, I had my own cubicle, made decisions on the orders that came in, and then was singled out to help in the office just two weeks after I got there. I had the most fun on that job and it is still my favorite. Unfortunately, it was during a time when I was actively using drugs and I lost the job two months after I was hired.

      1. Tell us what you are doing in pursuit of achieving an attainable goal.

I am, as patiently as I can, waiting for my hair to grow longer. It is about four inches shy of my goal. I am keeping this blog which keeps me writing and helps to improve my writing. This is towards my goal to write a fiction novel that will get published. I am attending classes fulltime to work toward becoming a Psychologist. And I have just applied for four jobs. Thit last is a biggie, because I have not worked since I returned to school in 2007. The money I earn will help reduce the stress of my own bills, allow me to send money to help my boys out, and also, I will finally be able to contribute to some of the household bills where I live. So far, I have been living here rent free and I eat like a monster!

      1. Tell us about one person who had the best influence on you in your life (teacher, neighbor, friend, etc.).

Just one? Oh, yeah, I created this award and decided on just one, didn’t I? That’s ok. I may get this award again in the future, so I will pick one this time and save the four or so for another time. Dr. Kerri Perisich was my therapist for one year, 2008/2009. I had tried therapy several times before, but this time it was my choice. I had decided and told her in the first session, that I would “keep it real” and be honest without omitting or exaggerating anything I told her, and if ever I did, I would no longer come to therapy. I told her that I had realized that if I cannot be completely honest with her, I wasn’t being honest with myself, and I would be wasting both of our time. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I stuck to my word and was 110% honest with her in every session. I did a lot of the talking, as you can imagine, but when she was aware that she would be leaving and going back to school to get her PhD, finish writing her book, and open a non-profit mental health facility, she began to share with me how astonished she was at my progress. She said I had no trouble articulating what was troubling me, but that I also continued with speaking out loud a variety of solutions and then systematically narrowing things down to the right solution for me. She was also very proud that I not only came up with my own solution, but I followed through with it and could see the results. She told me that she counts me as a success and believes I had great potential of being a therapist myself. She is the one who inspired me to believe in myself and is she is why I am on this journey to becoming a Psychologist. Thank you, Dr. Kerri!

My Nominees:

Because I have recently sent this award out, those I previously nominated are still among some of my top commenters, so instead, I will nominate those who have been commenting more regularly on my blog. Thank you all so much for your comments. They really mean a lot to me, and I promise, I will get back to reading blogs daily and I will comment as well. I have gotten a little behind, so I may likely begin reading current posts and, if time permits, I will go back and read the many I have missed over the past week or so. Nominees for this award are:

if i die before i sleep

atwlifethoughtsandfitness

iamnotshe

Louise Behiel

RMACTSC

Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

I Am Not Lost, Just Weird

Keep writing, keep reading, keep following, keep liking, keep rating, and keep commenting. The blogosphere is rich with energy! Don’t miss out!

 

ABC-Deuce Award

I have been nominated for the ABC Award for the second time! The ABC stands for Awesome Blog Content. And this very kind and generous nomination was passed on to me by a, Certainly not lost down under. Thank you, Steph, so much for this wonderful award, for reading my blog, and finding me worthy of this amazing recognition. I am sincerely honored!

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. There is no limit to how many fellow bloggers you can nominate so go wild. He-he.
  3. Share some things about you but alphabetically just a word or two about you starting with each alphabet. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of.)

My Awesome Blog Content Award Nominees:

Words Fall From My Eyes

The Dissemination of Thought

Heifer 12X12

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Limebird Writers

Reveg of the Nerd

the doodle house

My A to Zzzz’s:

A—ADAPTABLE

B—BENEVOLENT

C—CURIOUS

D—DEDICATED

E—EBULLIENT

F—FLATULENT (yes, you read that right!)

G—GRANDDAUGHTER

H—HELPFUL

I–IMPATIENT

J—JOURNALISTIC

K—KNOWLEDGE-SEEKER

L—LESBIAN

M—MOTHER

N—NIGHT-OWL

O—OPEN-MINDED

P—PAINTER

Q—QUIRKY

R—RASCAL

S—SUNFLOWER

T—THOROUGH

U—UPLIFTING

V—VICTORIOUS

W—WARM-HEARTED

X—X-RAY TRANSPARENT

Y—YEARNING

Z—ZZZZZZZ (getting sleepy)

These seven blogs do have some awesome things posted on their blogs and it would be really wise of you to see for yourself. Well worth the time to click and look; such a loss for you if you don’t!

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My Inspiring Blog Award

Seasons Change, and Change, and Change is the name of the blog who has honored me with this award. Thank you so much, Carla! I am stunned and surprised that anyone would think of my blog as inspiring. I feel very humbled…and very motivated to keep doing what I am doing. What a thrill to be given this particular award.

The Infamous Rules:

Pick seven bloggers who have blogs that inspire you and then tell us how and why you are inspired.

Once you have done that, all you have to do is tell your readers 7 things about yourself that probably would not come up in one of your Blog entries.

7 Inspiring Blogs, in no particular order:

This first blog, The Musings of a Jewish Stay-At-Home Father, inspires me because it is not often you find a father who is so dedicated to his children. Since the father of my children is very much the opposite, reading the many things that father shares and adores about his children gives me hope.

The following blogs all inspire me for much the same reason. All of these bloggers write about their experiences with their struggles in life, whether it be mental illness or addiction, or victims of a loved one’s addiction. I, too, suffer from addiction and mental illness and I learn so many things from these blogs and gain strength and hope from what they go through, have gone through, and what it is that keeps them going. Thank you all so much!

News of My Bipolar Brain

Passive Aggressive Abuse

Raw Recovery

Rockdweller’s Blog

It’s Just One Aspect

Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother’s Back

7 Unknown Facts About Me:

  1. Whenever I take a glass down from the cupboard, I blow in it, subconsciously removing any dust that may have settled into it since it was placed there. I vaguely remember doing this at my aunt’s house when I was in my very early teens and babysitting my cousins. This makes no sense, as her house was always spotless!
  2. When I go to bed at night, my shirt must be pulled down over the waistband of my pajama bottoms, or I will toss and turn is discomfort until I fix it.
  3. I have one biological sister and three African-American sisters whom my father adopted from his second marriage. All four of them are younger than I am.
  4. I am obsessed with my hair. Last summer, I died it turquoise (should I post a picture?) and this summer it will be purple. Prior to that I always kept the natural color of my hair, which turns really blond in the summer, and has more of a deep butterscotch color throughout the winter. And it is long, but not nearly as long as I want it. For me, longer hair makes me look thinner.
  5. When I first signed up with AT&T over four years ago, I began with  Blackberry Pearl, upgraded to a Curve, and now a Bold. Between the Curve and the Bold, I tried a different brand of phone because it was a Windows phone that I thought would be useful for classes, but I could not operate some of the most basic functions that I use many times a day and returned it for the Bold within 4 days. It is almost time to get a new phone and I am afraid I will not be happy with anything other than a Blackberry.
  6. I have a fascination with time and when I first started thinking of dissertation ideas, I had considered the many different perceptions of time and what was at work in the brain to shape those perceptions. For example, why does it “seem” to take forever when we are anticipating a vacation, and then once we get there, it “seems’ like we blink and it is over? Time is constant, so why does it feel so different from one circumstance to the another?
  7. Ok, now for my biggest secret of all time! As many of you know, I am a recovering drug addict. However, prior to finding recovery, my drug use did a number on my teeth. (Eeek! This is what I should have written for my TMI Award!) So, at the age of 38, four years after I got clean, I had to have all—yes, every single one, a total of 27—teeth pulled and replaced with these awful false ones. Why so awful? Let me just say that it is much harder for me to eat with these than with my real teeth.

Congratulations to the blogs I have nominated and for those of you reading this post, and want to be inspired, you not only have the seven nominees to check out, but don’t forget the one who nominated me—also very inspiring!

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TMI Award—Who, me?

The TMI Blog Award honors those blogs that discuss everything in detail and do it well. These bloggers aren’t afraid to discuss their most awkward, embarrassing and intimate experiences with honesty, humor and little to no filter.

Considering this explanation, I am very pleased to receive this award. Thank you bipolarmuse, for thinking of me as fearless, awkward, embarrassing, intimate, and honest. The humor comes and goes, but I am glad you can chicken pick it out when my garbage filter is absent and has been sent to the cleaners. Seriously, it feels good to be recognized as someone who is honest and doesn’t hold anything back. I try not to, as I believe my life experiences are a large part of who I am today, which I do not mind saying, is a pretty strong and amazing woman! What a victory for me to be able to admit that publicly and believe it! If you really want to see how it is done, go to bipolarmuse and read some of her poetry—some of the most moving words you will ever read! I not only learn so many things from her, but I adore her raw truths written is such a way as to take your breath away. Thank you so much!

Here are the rules:

Thank the person who presented you with the award.

Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.

Share an awkward, embarrassing and intimate story in 100 250 words or less. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.

Present the TMI Blog Award to 5 – 10 deserving blogs.

Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

My most awkward and embarrassing moment is the one I will share in light of this award. I could tell you many different moments that may be very typical or one’s you may find yourself relating to, but where is the fun in that?

When I was still a senior in high school, I had a few friends who were army wives and who lived in base housing. One evening, I went to see my friend Paula, but she was not yet home. I decided to sit in the backyard and wait for her, as I knew she would be there shortly. It was a nice summer evening so I sat, in my skirt, in the grass. I had been there for about 15 minutes and I had an itch right on the inside of my right butt cheek. I tried to ignore it, but it got worse and worse with each passing minute. Finally, I reached behind, under my skirt, and just as I began to scratch that insistent itch, I thought to myself, “It will be just my luck if Paula comes around that corner and sees me scratching my butt under my skirt…” and, of course, at exactly that moment, she did walk right up behind me and asked how I was. I jumped nearly a foot off the ground as I quickly, with the reddest face, removed my hand and stood up! If that wasn’t bad enough, I now had to follow her inside and visit for a while before I could escape and allow my very bruised ego and deflated self-esteem to heal. She never mentioned it, but every time I saw her after that day, I had this mental picture and my face would once again turn red.

There you have it and in 250 words exactly! Anyone else caught scratching their butt by someone who never should have seen you doing so?

Now for my nominations:

Seasons Change, and Change…

Mystery Coach

Thypolar’s life

morezennow

Ladywithatruck

I now have only three awards to complete, so if you have not been nominated here, never fear! And I will not nominate anyone one blog for more than one award, as I know it a time-consuming task to post, but it is oh, so much fun!

 

Top Recent Commenter Award

PRESENTINGThe Top Recent Commenter’s Award! This award is a little different from the norm. Instead of awarding others for their own blogs, you will be giving recognition to those who visit your own blog regularly, take the time to really read your posts, and provide you with feedback via their comments. The nominations are the easiest part. You should nominate the six bloggers who comment most frequently on your blog. How do you know who does this most often? Good question!

You will find your Top Recent Commenters on your site stats page on the bottom, right corner. If you do not see this, click on the Screen Options in the top, right corner and be sure that “Comments” is checked. If you are good about responding to every comment, then you will be the first one in the list. It is the next six commenters on the list that you will nominate and pass this award to. But wait! You may nominate one more person. This person can either be a brand new commenter on your blog, the very last comment you have received (most recent), or the one who has posted your most favorite comments. This seventh nomination is your choice, but please do tell us why you have chosen them as your seventh.

The rules are relatively similar to most other awards, but the questions will be a bit more personal so that we may get to know YOU a little better. The rules include thanking the one who passed the award to you and linking them back to your post; nominating your six top recent commenters and one more blogger of your choice, and notifying them of your appreciation and their award, and then answering the questions that follow:

      1. Tell us about one of your most cherished childhood memories.
      2. Tell us about one of your most cherished memories with your child(ren). If you do not have children, then share one of your pet(s). If you do not have pets either, then one with niece(s), nephew(s), or any combination thereof.
      3. Tell us one thing you have learned from one or both of your parents that has stuck with you throughout the years.
      4. Tell us one thing that you have taught (or intend to teach) your child(ren) that you are hopeful will stick with them throughout their lifetime.
      5. Tell us about your favorite job, whether it is one you hold now or one from the past, and why you enjoy(ed) it.
      6. Tell us what you are doing in pursuit of achieving an attainable goal.
      7. Tell us about one person who had the best influence on you in your life (teacher, neighbor, friend, etc.).

NOTE: To Anyone and Everyone who is reading this, I have one small problem. I am not computer savvy, and though I have tried, I have been unsuccessful at superimposing “Top Recent Commenter Award” onto the graphic that accompanies this post. I would appreciate any help I can get. If you are able to accomplish this task, so that I may come back and edit this post with the actual award logo, please do help. Thank you in advance. By the way, do NOT include this message in posting your award.

My Top Commenter Nominees are:

      1. Kellie @ Kellie See has recently posted 16comments. Thank you, Kellie!
      2. Eric @ Written Words Never Die has also posted 16 comments. Thank you, Eric!
      3. “Coach” @ Mystery Coach has recently posted 13 comments. Thank you, “Coach!”
      4. Carla @ Seasons Change, and Change… Has recently posted 11comments. Thanks, Carla!
      5. Dolly @ allaboutlemon has recently posted 9 comments. Thank you, Dolly!
      6. Dr. Angela @ A Kiss of Bliss has recently posted 7 comments. Thank you, Dr. Angela!
      7. Tasi Alabastro @ Kreen of the Crop posted the very first comment on my blog on 01/01/12. Thank you so much, Tasi!

 

Not only are these wonderful men and women great commenters, but they have amazing blogs just as worthy of your comments, so please, do go read some of their posts and don’t forget to comment!

On a final note, if you are interested in what my answers are to the questions above, you will just have to wait until I am one of a future nominee’s top commenters!

 

 

 

Check This Out—Creative Chaos Award

Yip-Yip-Yippee! I am the very first nominee of the very first blogger created blog award. This award is called the Creative Chaos Award and was cleverly designed by I’m Not Lost, Just Weird. Thank you, thank you for this very fitting award!

Welcome to the Creative Chaos Award! This award is for those who think outside the norm (thought I was going to say “box” didn’t you). This is much more difficult than it sounds since “Abnormal” is the new “Normal.” But I digress. Here are the requirements for this prestigious award:

1. You must tell 3 completely weird things about your habits. If you claim to have no weird habits, you’re lying and we’ll have to send an investigative team for further analysis.

2. You must tell why you look at the “glass half full” scenario and ask “what? No coffee?”

3. Complete one the following essay questions:

A. You find yourself in a desolate place when your car breaks down. You have no cell phone service, no Walmart (I know, GASP, right?), and only a candy bar for food. It is 150 miles to the closest town. What color are your pants and why?

B. You find yourself having to ride an elevator quite frequently. How do you pass the time to show off your creativity?

4. Then you are to nominate 5 random people.

5. Make sure to show proper gratitude to the person who nominated you whether that is to shower them with gifts, prizes, and cash or to see that they are put into a clown costume and photographed for internet mocking.

6. Make sure to post the award somewhere other than the underside of the toilet seat.

Number 1:

Three of my habits are: drinking coffee, smoking, and bathing rituals. What is weird about them is the following:

I drink a lot of coffee, but it is very common that I do not drink the entire cup before it gets cold, so I am constantly “topping off” and reheating my coffee. While it is heating, I make a quick trip to the bathroom to drain the coffee already consumed, and then I return to my room…forgetting to retrieve my cup from the microwave!

Yes, I am a smoker (I hope I haven’t just lost a bunch of my blog followers because of this nasty little aspect about myself), but I am working diligently on quitting. When I arrived in Pennsylvania, June 2010, I was smoking 30 cigarettes a day, but am now down to 8 a day…consistently. When I step out onto my deck for a smoke, I take only 4 puffs, put it out, and come back to it next time. Doing this has taken me from smoking 3 cigarettes in a span of a couple of hours to smoking only one in the same amount of time. My next goal is to cut it back to 5 a day. I am not a cold turkey kind of person, so I see this as being a very successful journey thus far.

Bathing rituals? I know! What the heck could I possibly be talking about? Well, here is the deal. I wash and condition my hair, exfoliate my face, shave my legs, apply Noxzema to my face, all while in the shower and in a very specific order. Once I am out and dried off, it is astringent on my face, putting on deodorant, brushing my teeth, Q-tipping my ears, slathering Dove Cream Oil over all of my skin, and combing my hair. What is so strange about that? I have tried to take a Quick shower, thereby illuminating the shaving or the Noxzema or even the lotion, but I can’t do it. If I do not do each and every thing in the exact order that I have grown accustomed to, my anxiety goes through the roof and my mind gets kicked into super spin cycle. I know it is ridiculous, but it is what it is.

Number 2:

Ha ha ha!!! I am pretty sure I answered that with my coffee habit above. However, to be more specific to this question, I see the glass as half full because I view life as some is better than none, therefore, I am much more grateful for what I do have than I am disappointed in what I don’t have. Except when it comes to coffee…I do ask, when there is none in the house,  “what? No coffee?”

Number 3:

I choose essay question—A. You find yourself in a desolate place when your car breaks down. You have no cell phone service, no Walmart (I know, GASP, right?), and only a candy bar for food. It is 150 miles to the closest town. What color are your pants and why?

This is an easy question! I would be wearing button-fly, black jeans, absolutely without a doubt! How could I possible know this? Well, one of the luxuries of taking my Penn State University classes online is that I get to stay in my comfy pajamas all day. Now, if I was going to be traveling to the corner store, I would most likely go in my pajamas; however, if I were going somewhere that I could possibly be 150 miles from civilization during any part of the trip and there is a possibility of no Walmart, I would get dressed for the ride (yeah, well, guess what? I don’t drive). The most comfortable pair of jeans I have which look good on me, are my button-fly, black jeans. Because these types of trips are far and few between (once a month—maybe) I always grab for the comfy ones I love and yes, they are always clean and fresh when I put them on.

Number 4:

My five nominees are…

Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride—Wild Ride! Need I say more?

allaboutlemon—Another rollercoaster of a blog! Lots and lots of things here to see, read, and DO!

Seasons Change, and Change…—This woman’s chaos is not only creative, but it is straight-up honest! Who doesn’t like honesty?

mosesjunkyard—He is the man! He creatively harnesses his chaos into music and video. Very talented and clever!

Mystery Coach—The most creatively chaotic blog I have come across yet. This wonderful woman holds back Nothing. She tells it exactly how it is!

Number 5:

Did you see that creatively chaotic parade? It was amazing! What?! You don’t know what I am talking about? What do you mean, you didn’t see the parade? It was spectacular and in honor of I’m Not Lost, Just Weird for both creating this fun and fancy award, but for nominating ME! Come on, people! Pay attention and keep up!

Number 6:

I would really like to know what is so wrong about posting this under the toilet seat? Huh? Will someone please fill me in? Relax! Don’t let your ears get so hot they melt the wax right of their drums! You are reading this, aren’t you? And unless you are lying on my bathroom floor, I would say that is sufficient evidence that it is posted someplace else, yes?

HA! You thought I was done, didn’t you? I am not. Just in case anyone is wondering how this award came about in the first place, her is the detailed explanation: An Award Challenge. Feel free to check it out and meet the challenge, if you dare!

 

Related articles

An Award Challenge

Are you up for a challenge? Me too! Before I get to the details of what I will challenge each of you to do, if you dare, I want to explain where this idea came from.

First and foremost, I often wonder where the different blog awards come from. I know that blogs are nominated by other bloggers, but where did they originate? Have these been the creation of various bloggers or were they generated by WordPress? Does anyone know?

Now I want to briefly discuss why I believe the awards and seemingly silly games such as  Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments and Tag! You’re IT! are so important and what function I believe they serve. To begin with, as the receiver of awards, they just make you feel good, can give your motivation a boost, and lets you know that someone really enjoys the things that you post. For the nominator, sometimes “liking” someone’s blog just doesn’t feel like it is enough and you really want to give them more recognition. What better way than an award?

Most awards, at least the ones I have received so far, have rules that include answering some questions. Sometimes the questions are intended to find out specific things about the blogger and other times they are to get a feel for the blogger’s opinion on certain topics. Either way, it is fun to answer the questions and gives others an avenue in which to get to know you better as person. If you get to know enough, it can often times lead to friendships. I have even found inspiration on some of the things I choose to write about through the questions on awards I have been nominated for.

And finally, the nominations; by nominating others for the award, you expand the readership and followers of those blogs. This is how we connect with one another. Some of my favorite blogs, I discovered based on the nominations, and therefore the recommendations, on the award posts of bloggers I already follow. This is also known as networking, a most important tool in the social and business world we live in.

Do you agree with me so far? I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t, so here is what I propose: an award challenge. I challenge you to create your own award. You choose the name, the logo or graphic (or better yet, design it yourself) and then you decide what the rules are. You choose the questions that are to be answered or do something a little different, like maybe put out a little challenge of your own. And finally, you get to decide how many people the award should be passed onto by those you nominate. Your award can be blogger specific (moms, photographers, cooks) or it can be topic specific (humor, advice, art), but whatever you choose, be creative, be unique, have fun, and don’t forget to nominate the first bloggers to receive your award so it can begin its journey around the blogosphere!

Oh! I am so glad you asked. Yes, I will be creating an award also, so please do keep your eyes peeled and don’t miss out on my creativity! Good luck!

TAG!!! You’re IT!

This is a Fun Game and it’s called, “TAG You’re IT” and Dolly of allaboutlemon tagged me.

Here are The Rules:

  1. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged or you can recycle the questions of others if you’d like to do so.
  2. Tag eleven people (or more if you wish) and link to them on your post.
  3. Let them know you’ve tagged them (but if you don’t get time, you won’t have to go to your room for three weeks or anything like that, lol!)

Dolly’s Questions:

1. Why do you blog?

Great question! For the answer, read my post, Blog, Blog, Blog!

2. Are you happy?

More than any other time in my life!

3. Do you feel you are loved?

I not only feel it, I know it!

4. What are your dreams?

To become a Psychologist and be able to care for my kids like I never have before!

5. Describe yourself in 6 words.

(I hate the number 6—don’t know why, I just do, so I will list 7) Reader, writer, mom, friend, lover, student, fighter!

6. What is your favorite animal? and why?

Cats—I love their purr and their cuddly companionship!

7. If you like to have a pet, what kind of animal would that be? and why?

A kitten, but if I had to choose a close second it would be a cockatoo—they are a joy to have, if they are hand fed, and you can take them anywhere you go!

When you read these following words, what comes up to your mind in an instant and why?

8. FOREST—Mysterious, because all forests are so vastly different.

9. SEA—Yuck! I hate salt water!

10. COFFEE—comfort and warmth, simply because that is what coffee is for me.

11. Are you happy with my questions and glad that I tagged you?

Great questions that even allowed me to plug my own post! I do like to play, especially the questions, so yes, I am glad you tagged me!

MY Questions for YOU:

      1. What is your favorite book and why?
      2. What is your favorite thing to write about?
      3. What do you look for in a blog?
      4. Have you had any formal training in writing, (i.e. writing classes, workshops, etc)?
      5. What is you most favorite memory?
      6. If you could visit one place in the entire world, where would it be?
      7. If you could learn how to do one thing, what would it be?
      8. Who is your favorite artist and why?
      9. Who is your favorite author and why?
      10. What is one thing about me that you would like to know?
      11. Have you ever had anything published?

WHO I am Tagging:

      1. Thypolar’s life
      2. Seasons Change, and Change…
      3. newfoundlandtraveller
      4. Mystery Coach
      5. Mortal Hearts with Immortal Souls
      6. Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother’s Back
      7. Girl on the Contrary
      8. Wonder and Whimsy
      9. I Can’t High Five
      10. Me, Myself, and I
      11. Pretty Fly for a Blind Guy

TAG! You’re IT! Enjoy and have fun!

Versatile Awards #2 AND #3

As one of my lovely fans has already pointed out, I do love and use quite frequently, dictionary.com. I have decided to share a little trivia to give this post a little something extra. The following is the origin of the word “Versatile.”

Versatile: 1605, from L. versatilis “turning, revolving, moving, capable of turning to varied subjects or tasks,” from pp.[prepositional phrase] stem of versare “keep turning, be engaged in something, turn over in the mind,” frequentative of vertere “to turn” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/versatile)

Ah! Now that is better. With this, you will better understand why Troy and Jen have chosen me as one of their nominees (oh, my! I am usually not this humble. Honest!)

I am getting ahead of myself. Just keep reading.

I have been nominated not once, but twice, for the Versatile Blogger Award by two bloggers whom I follow and who follow me. One nomination came from someone I have been following for quite some time and who I have a lot of respect for; Troy of life.aisle. Please do check out his blog! He is very inspiring, informative, and if you take the time to read things he has written, you will learn things you never would have expected.

The second nomination came from a blog I have only just recently started to follow, but after reading just a few of her posts, I discovered that, she too, writes and shares things that are inspiring and informative. She, a child of an alcoholic; me, an addict mother of my children. Fortunately, I have entered recovery, been here for a few years, and as a result, I get to do some amazing things, like go to college, write a blog, a—you guessed it! I also get to read the blogs of others, such as Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother’s Back, written by Jen, and learn so much more about myself and others who struggle with this life-ruining disease! Some truly fascinating reading, I assure you!

Thank you life.aisle and Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother’s Back for nominating me for this really cool award! It is deeply appreciated, not to mention motivating. You like what you see, so I just will continue posting to ensure you keep coming back!

The customary rules are:

    1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award and share a link to their blog.
    2. List 7 things about yourself.
    3. Select 15 bloggers or sites that you regularly follow or find interesting and nominate them for the versatile blogger award.
    4. Tell the 15 bloggers that you have nominated them.

Seven things about me are:

    1. I drink way too much coffee and know this because, other than the obvious (I drink an average of two pots a day), the other day when we were out of coffee, I had the hardest time focusing on my homework. Not good. Not good at all!
    2. I love music and want very badly to learn how to play the piano and/or the violin. I live with two women, one of which has been a professional musician for 30 years, has more instruments than I have ever seen in one location, is willing, and even eager to teach me, but…alas, I just do not have the time.
    3. I have absolutely no confidence in my writing abilities, so I avoid doing it at all costs (both for school and for pleasure) until I get the first sentence typed and then it takes cheesecake, sheer exhaustion, or an army of 10 strong and sexy women to pull me away (as you will see when I post my next subculture assignment—7,000 words, and with revisions, very likely even longer.
    4. One of my most favorite things to do is to lie out in the sun near the pool and so this winter, though so much milder than most for this area, is driving me batty!
    5. My boys are in Washington and are doing well and I am in Pennsylvania, and am also doing well, but man, oh, man, do I miss my babies! (Ok, so they are 19 and 14 years old, but if you are a mother, you will know what I mean when I say, they will ALWAYS be my babies!)
    6. I love bubble baths! As a matter of fact, I am seriously considering indulging in one as soon as I get this posted.
    7. I desperately need a job, as these financial aid loans are just not cutting it. Donations to my living expenses are welcomed and appreciated.

My 15 nominations are:

          1. Reflections…By Kathy
          2. News of My Bipolar Brain
          3. Mortal Hearts with Immortal Souls
          4. bipolarmuse
          5. Written Words Never Die
          6. Subhan Zein
          7. FiftyFourandAHalf
          8. Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
          9. Freedom to a Full Life
          10. Maggiemaeijustsaythis
          11. strawberriesandoranges
          12. >The Great Escape<Life from behind a lens
          13. Haphazard Linkages
          14. Shannon Howell
          15. Foodimentary

These are some truly amazing blogs! I really mean that. I have taken my time and really chose blogs that I thought all of you could really gain from. So, please, honor all of my work and check out each and every one of these blogs. You will not be disappointed!

A Sunshine Award is Warming My Heart

I have graciously been awarded the Sunshine Award by Pauline from newfoundlandtraveller ! Pauline is a very accomplished woman, having quite a few degrees in teaching and education, is a published author, and loves to travel. Her blog is both thought-provoking and informative and a real joy to read. I love sunshine, so this is definitely the award for me! Thank you very much for honoring me with this very bright and warm award!

The Sunshine Award, like all other rewards, has some rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

TEN QUESTIONS

  1. Favorite color: Pale Yellow
  2. Favorite animal: Cats
  3. Favorite number: 11
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee, creamed and sugared, hands down! By the way, I don’t drink alcohol, so this is my favorite drink overall!
  5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? I have both, however I have two FB, one is primarily for my recovery friends from around the world and I have over 2300 friends on that page, and the second for my nearest and dearest girlfriends from early childhood to the most recent friendships I have formed. This page only has 59 friends, as I am very selective and 40 of those are on both of my pages. I do have a Twitter account as well, however, it is hard for me to keep up. I do the best I can.
  6. My passion: It’s a tie! Psychology and Writing.
  7. Prefer getting or giving presents: Giving! I am not a material person, so receiving gifts is nice, but the emotions felt with giving presents far outweighs my excitement at receiving them.
  8. Favorite pattern: Log Cabin (This is a quilt pattern)
  9. Favorite day of the week: Thursday
  10. Favorite flower: Daisy, though since that is considered a weed, I will go with carnation. They smell nice and last a long time after being cut.

PASSING IT ON:

This is the fun part. For me, the Sunshine Award represents an award given to blogs that bring sunshine and smiles into the reader’s and viewer’s day. So, without further ado, here are the blogs that do that for me:

rumpydog—talk about sunshine being brought into your day! This blog is brought to you from the perspective of a variety of dogs and cats. This blog is informative, funny, engaging, and just leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy all over!

Our Little Home—About a couple of lesbians in love and their personal journey. I absolutely LOVE this blog and it is well worth the time to go check it out!

Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride—the name says it all! This blog is indeed like a wild ride, but one that is a lot of fun. There is a mixture of fiction and reality on this blog, and not one post will you be disappointed to read. This is one of those blogs you can get lost on for hours. Awesome stuff!

allaboutlemon—this blog has it all! Games, contests, photography, videos, and written posts! If you want to have fun, be intrigued, test your sense of adventure, or just make a genuine friend, this is the place to go!

Kitty bloger—who doesn’t like adorable kittens and their many adventures and silliness? A must see!

Vinyl Eraser—one of the most recent of the blogs I now follow, this is the blog of an experimental, self-taught artist, but as you will see for yourself, this artist has true talent! Don’t take my word for it—go take a peek!

Maze A Day—do you like a challenge? Interested in a trickery of the mind and a test of your mental abilities? Try getting through just one of these unique, one-of-kind mazes. If you can’t get through one, don’t worry; there is always tomorrows maze. Go ahead, give it a try—I dare you!

Bluebird Blvd.—fascinating is an understatement! Poetry, photography, humor, art, and some information about a lot of different things that would be a shame if you missed. Hurry on over—it’s not too late!

Noisy Pilgrim—some of THE MOST AMAZING Photography I have ever seen. Positively mind-blowing!

Mindset: Perspective Is Everything—if you have a passion for psychology, as I do, this blog is like a free online class. Some very interesting and insightful lessons to be learned for Dr. Richard Schultz!

These really are some truly amazing blogs. Please go visit each one, and don’t forget to check out Pauline at newfoundlandtraveller!

Liebster Blog Award, Numero Dos

I have been nominated by Lost Up Above for my second Liebster Blog Award. Thank you, Stephanie, for passing this award on to me. I truly enjoy the many authors and variety of music that you post on your blog, and I find myself learning all kinds of things I might not have otherwise learned. Thank you so much for both the award and for your inspirational blog!

Liebster is German & means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’ and the idea of the Liebster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers all in the spirit of gathering more connections.

Here are the rules, though they are painless, really.

  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogosphere – other bloggers.
  5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

I would like to pass this award to:

The Daily Stresser

I Am Not Defined

Kellie See

amdunnewin

life.aisle

These blogs are ones that should most certainly not be missed. Check them out! It won’t take you long, unless, of course, like me, you get caught up in reading and viewing, which would actually turn out to be a good thing. Please feel free to thank me here for leading you there! Happy reading!

 

My First Liebster Blog Award

I have been nominated by Celeste, Mortal Hearts with Immortal Souls, for the Liebster Blog Award. Wow, Celeste, you never cease to amaze me. Your blog is inspiring and insightful and that you have chosen to pass this award on to me is truly an honor, coming from you! Thank you so very much!

Liebster is German & means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’ & the idea of the Liebster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers all in the spirit of gathering more connections

  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogosphere – other bloggers.
  5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

I would like to pass this award to:

A Kiss of Bliss

Word Flows

Writer’s Manifest

newfoundlandtraveller

A Natural Sort of Lovely

 These are some of the best of the best blogs that I follow. Please give them a visit! Also, I would really love it if when you do, you let me know which of these you end up following.

 

 

Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments–”Tag, I’m IT!”

Whoo-Hoo! I was so excited to wake up this morning and find that I had been tagged in this fun, little adventure of Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments. From now until the end of this post, or rather as soon as I post it, I will be “IT!” Thank you, thank you, thank you, adollyciousirony at allaboutlemon for tagging me in this delightful activity!

“I am certain that Mrs. Sparkly, a woman of high expectations, commitment and integrity would agree with this approach. She is notable, respected in her own community and likely to be peering down upon us; possibly spell checking and taking notes that feed into a mammoth government information data collection system (MGIDCS). She may have been recruited because of her discretion and integrity even behind closed doors.”

 

The rules of engagement are:

Ten Questions must be answered with complete honesty or Mrs. Sparkly will find you. Mrs. Sparkly-we love you. We Do! Manners and behavior, words beyond reproach… Then tag five other people.

The Ten Questions:

1.Describe yourself in seven words.

Honest, Creative, Loyal, Inquisitive, Imaginative, Intelligent, Procrastinator

2. What keeps you up at night?

My Penn State University Studies and Molly, our 11-year-old Boston Terrier

3. Whom would you like to be?

I would like to be a Psychologist in the gay community. I am working on getting there and have no doubt I will succeed.

4. What are you wearing now?

Wearing? I’m supposed to be wearing something?

5. What scares you?

Falling, Rodents, and the Wind (I know! How sad, huh?)

6. What are the best and worst things about blogging?

The best thing, of course, is that I love to write! Blogging gives me an avenue in which to write anything I want to at any time of day or night. The worst thing is that I love to blog—when I don’t have the time, because my school work is my priority right now, I become over-anxious.

7. What was the last website you looked at?

Well, since I am on WordPress.com right now, then the last website I was on was either psu.edu or dictionary.com—I am not quite sure, as I had been alternating between the two when my computer crashed at 3:30 AM, thereby releasing its grip on me and allowing me to go to bed finally.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Yikes! This is a serious question, and because I do not want to disrespect Mrs. Sparkly, I will give it a serious and honest answer. My life has not always been pretty. Through abuse in my past marriage, extreme anxiety, seven years of active drug use, which caused me to experience poverty and homelessness, I was not a good mother to my children. My boys are now 19 and 14 and live with their half-siblings in Washington, while I am here in Pennsylvania continuing my education and working diligently on bettering myself, not only for my sake, but for theirs as well. The most psychological and emotional damage has fallen to my youngest son, and though he is content and we are closer than we have been in a very long time, I still feel that I am failing him. The one thing I would change about myself, and I am actually working on it, is to become the mother I should have been from the beginning. I try not to dwell on the past, which cannot be changed, but to remain in the here and now, as that is where I can make change happen.

9. Slankets, yes or no?

Very interesting question and I must say, I am intrigued. As others before me have said, I do not know what this word, slanket, means. So, I too. looked the word up on dictionary.com and had to do a little investigating. The closest thing I could come to, other than ‘blanket’ was that the word ‘slank,’ the past tense of ‘slink’, which means, in its various forms (verb, adjective, noun)—

verb (used without object)

1. to move or go in a furtive, abject manner, as from fear, cowardice, or shame.

2. to walk or move in a slow, sinuous, provocative way.

verb (used with object)

3. (especially of cows) to bring forth (young) prematurely.

noun

4. a prematurely born calf or other animal.

adjective

5. born prematurely: a slink calf.

Confused yet? Ha-ha! Don’t worry, it gets better. Next I looked up the suffix –et which is also grouped with –ette, and is generally used on the noun tense of the word, which according to msu.edu, this suffix means small one, group (midget, octet, baronet). So, where does that bring us to? It looks like ‘slanket’ means a small premature calf. But wait! The question says, ‘slankets,’ which means plural, or in this case means small premature calves.  And with that, my answer is a resounding NO!

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you.

I know her as adollyciousirony (he-he…that is a pretty good start of a description already!). She is fun, creative, energetic, and happy. I enjoy visiting her blog because there is always something new and different and reading her posts regularly put me is such a good mood, and inspires me to write more myself. This wonderful blog, allaboutlemon, has a very positive effect on me, as it will you. Just click the link and I promise, it will be a very enjoyable experience!

I’m passing Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments on to:

bipolarmuse, because…no, she is Too amazing for words. Click, read, and you will see what I mean.

Kellie See, because I am studying psychology, while she is studying art, so it is here that I can obtain many art lessons. Not to mention, she is truly talented!

The Write Transition, because this blog reads like the author is sitting right in front of you having a conversation…so real!

Thypolar’s life, because she is funny, serious, open, and honest.

Seasons Change, and Change…, because we have so many things in common and I can relate more than she realizes.

ABC-Awesome Blog Content-Award

Guess what??? I have been nominated for the ABC Award! Yes! The ABC stands for Awesome Blog Content. And this very kind and generous nomination was passed on to me by a beautiful soul, bipolarmuse. Thank you so much for this wonderful award, for reading my blog, and finding me worthy of this amazing recognition. I am sincerely honored, especially coming from you!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you

2. There is no limit to how many fellow bloggers you can nominate so go wild. Hehe.

3. Share some things about you but alphabetically just a word or two about you starting with each alphabet. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of.)

Because the following really do have the most Awesome Blog Content, my nominations are:

Soy Luna y me expreso, because she is so straight-forward, candid, and passionate in what she writes, and I have and continue to learn so much from her.

Indulge—Travel, Adventure, and New Experiences, because I cannot afford to travel the world, but I can do so vicariously through the truly breathtaking recollections and spectacular photos on this blog.

rumpydog, because I love the perspective of dogs and cats!

Artsy Forager, because I love art and this site is beyond Awesome!

Lea & Jay, because I love to eat, so I can pick the recipes I like, pass them on to my gourmet cook roommate, and viola! Bon Appetit!

One Mere Mortal, because the incredible word usage of this poets works is very sensory engaging.

jameezio, because psychology is my current focus and my future aspiration.

Astroglia, because this is a most fascinating blog to read.

Now, me from A to Z–I will do my best.

A—ADORABLE

B—BRAVE

C—COFFEE-AHOLIC

D—DILIGENT

E—EXAMPLE (to others)

F—FRUGAL (because I have to be)

G—GOOFY

H—HONEST

I–INTERESTING

J—JAZZY

K—KIND

L—LOYAL

M—MYSTERIOUS

N—NAÏVE

O—OBSERVANT

P—PEACE-MAKER

Q—QUIET

R—REALISTIC

S—SENTIMENTAL (extremely)

T—TOLERANT

U—UNUSUAL (in my own special way)

V—VIVID

W—WORRY-WART (to a fault)

X—‘XTRAORDINARY

Y—YOUNG AT HEART

Z—ZEALOUS

This was fun and I am looking forward to the next award that may come my way. In the meantime, there are Nine Fabulous Blogs listed above for you to enjoy!

My Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award -via Kellie See!

The Versatile Blogger Award
Image by nhighberg via Flickr

Wow! I am truly blown away and deeply honored to have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by an equally amazing blogger, Kellie See! Thank you so much for finding me worthy of this award, and for posting a most important source of information of what I am to do next. In following the instructions from the link above, here are, first, seven things about me:

1. I am a recovering addict.

2. I am a student at Penn State University.

3. My favorite cake is carrot cake.

4. My favorite thing to do is write.

5, I love music of all kinds.

6. I miss my mother who passed away on August 1, 2009 and I miss my little sister, who is currently not speaking to me.

7. I aspire to become a Doctor of Psychology.

Now I will list the top 15 blogs I follow closely on a regular basis. These are really great blogs and if you want to check any of them out, all you have to do is click…their blog will open in a new window.

1. Goin’ To The Dogs Of New York

2. Reclusewritings

3. Written Words Never Die

4. Lynn Munoz

5. Kitty bloger

6. Aaron Leaman

7. FicFaq

8. Philnensia

9. mosesjunkyard

10. allaboutlemon

11. Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

12. The Thought Exchange

13. The Kreen of the Crop

14. Sober and Sexy for Life

15. LGBT Latest Science

On a final note, though this may not be customary, and I am uncertain if I can pass the award onto more than 15, I do feel very strongly that these blogs, the newest I have started following as a result of getting this award, are definitely worth mentioning.

1. Seasons Change, and Change…

2. bipolarmuse

3. It’s Just One Aspect

Thank you, everyone, for following and supporting my blog. Keep coming back, keep reading, and keep writing!

The Artist in Me

Deutsch: Buntstifte, Farbstifte العربية: أقلام...

Image via Wikipedia

Out of the blue, one really boring afternoon, a friend came over to the house and gave me a box of Prismacolor pencils—36 different colors! I took out some paper and started to doodle a bit, but nothing exciting came of it. Later that evening, as we, my family and I, were watching television I pulled the pencils out again and started on a fresh sheet of paper. All I drew was a sandy beach with the waves of the ocean rolling onto the shore, a bucket and shovel not far from the tide. It was very crude and looked as if a child had drawn it, but it was kind of fun and wondering what else I could come up with, I began on another blank sheet. This time, I drew a park with a bench, a bike leaning against it, a garbage can beside it, and a dog running through the trees. A bit more detail this time, but still, not any better than a child could do.

I liked the vibrancy of the colors and the smoothness in which the pencils glided on the page. What I needed was a bigger pad of paper. It was a few days before I could get one, but when I did, something fresh emerged in me that I did not know was there. I began drawing detailed pictures with a regular school pencil and then coloring them and the shocking results inspired me to continue this new-found love of mine. I kept drawing more and more, each one so very different from the last. I spent hours perfecting them until I was satisfied that it was the best that I could do.

I was becoming obsessed and wanted to do more, so I went and bought a few “how to” books and practiced the exercises on shading and shadowing. Simple things at first, like an egg and a walnut. From there I drew a kitten and a stuffed dog propped up in a corner. The practices become more difficult as I went through the book, but I pressed on. I completed a house with a brick fireplace with trees in the background and a fence in foreground. I really liked that one, so I drew it again, only on a larger sheet of paper and then added color. The final exercise was an old car in a field and though what I did do of it turned out very well, I did not finish that one as new ideas of my own were emerging.

A few months later, my partner and I were walking through the aisles of Goodwill and I came across a 16”x20” stretched canvas on a wooden frame. It was blank, unused, and had a price of only $0.50. I had to have it. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I knew it was meant for me, so I bought it and brought it home. It sat for many months before I ventured to do something with it. My youngest son had one of those art sets that came with pastels, water colors, colored pencils and markers, so I asked him if I could use the paints. He said I could have them. And so I began.

I remembered a quilted picture that hung on a wall in a magazine I recently browsed through (I think at the doctor’s office) and wondered if I could paint something similar. It was a huge multi-colored sun and was reflected in a lake on its horizon with a couple of stands of trees. I was able to get the gist of it down on the canvas and then for days, I continued to add more and more color, blending and trying to get it to look like the picture I had in my head.  The tiny little tubes of paint ran out quickly and I had to set it aside for a while until I got paid and could go to a craft store and buy more paint. That day finally came (as I thought it never would) and I discovered a different kind of paint—acrylics!

Acrylics are amazing because it takes so little to cover so much and the coverage is solid. They also dry super fast and if you make a mistake, you can paint over it. But the real kicker is that they come in hundreds of colors, which at the time I could get for roughly 4 bottles for one dollar. Now, they are about two for a dollar, but still, that is affordable. Brushes and canvases, not so much, however, they make great gifts, so I have a pretty hefty supply.

Some of my paintings came from things I just envisioned in my mind, while others have been variations of photos I have seen in magazines or in “how to” books, more advanced ones now—those showing you different tricks you can do with your brushes and mixtures of paints that can either give it crackle look, make it more shiny, or give it a little more wet time, meaning it won’t dry as fast as it does on its own. Just the enjoyment of using a mixture of brushes and textures and mixing different colors of paint is a lot of why I continue to paint, but also seeing the finished product and how that makes me feel—Happy!

One thing that inspires me the most is the sky. I used to look at paintings and wonder why someone would paint orange trees, blue grass, and a pink sky. Now I know. These colorful views do actually occur in nature! I have seen them myself. As a matter of fact, I saw a solid yellow sky with brilliant purple mountains. It was so surreal, but I stared at it for as long as I could trying to memorize every detail. I have started a painting that will hopefully depict what I saw that night. The colors that come from my mind through the brush in my hand and onto the canvas, are usually chosen and driven by my emotions. I can look at most of my paintings and remember what I was feeling during the time I created them. There is a lot more of me in those pictures than meets the eye.

It is funny, but my favorite artist is Norman Rockwell, though I do not paint anything like what he does. One simple reason for that is I cannot, for the life of me, draw people. I cannot get the human body proportions right, or even facial features to look even remotely like they are supposed to. I do try to draw individual eyes or mouths or just the shape of a face framed by different styles of hair, but it is very difficult for me to get them to look real and in the end, it becomes a way for me to laugh at myself.

For me, art comes in many forms and though painting is what I do the most of, I have done other things. I have tried my hand at ceramics, which is fun, but very expensive to get fired, and then have to get fired again after applying glaze. I did a few pictures on wood, where I used a wood-burner to etch in the outline and then painted them. I have used the diamond tip on a Dremel and etched suns and moons and stars on mirrors, then painted in some highlights with glass paints. My favorite by far though is the many small white bathroom tiles that I painted many a quilt block on (I love quilts and will someday sew my own log cabin quilt). Unfortunately, they were much too heavy to try to mail or tote on the airplane with me when I moved from Oregon to Pennsylvania, so I had to leave them behind. But that is ok. I will do it again and enjoy every minute of it.

I have posted many of my paintings here on my blog and will continue to post pictures I have drawn or paintings that are finished. I was once given an offer to hang my paintings in a gallery and chose to decline, as I do not ever want to part with the beauty that has come from my heart and soul. I am not great at this, but I do so thoroughly enjoy doing it, so for me, it is how I entertain my “me” time.