This Is Outstanding!

There are many bloggers that I admire (most likely you’re one of them).  These bloggers constantly bring their unique perspectives on life, their quirky sense of humor, and their genuine talents to the forefront everyday.  I read a lot of posts that I wish I wrote and many issues that I wish I had thought of.  All of you are pretty awesome in your own way, and I look forward to your posts everyday.

Seventhvoice, a mother of two from Australia who posts both articles and poetry about fairness, equality, and most importantly, what it’s like to be a parent of a child with autism, recently selected me to receive the Outstanding Blogger Award.  I don’t think I can convey how special this made me feel.  For one, I have a great amount of respect for her– for sharing her struggles and bringing issues that confront her community and country to light.  Autism can be a divisive topic since its cause is unknown and everyone has a different idea how it should be treated; she handles this subject with grace.  Also, the rules for accepting this award are to nominate five others who “show intellect and a sense of confidence in the subject for which they are blogging about WITHOUT going way over the heads of those us who need things said in layman’s terms.”  The fact that she considers my blog worthy of being part of that five blows me away.

The rules for accepting this award are to nominate 5 others to receive it and add one important piece of information they feel is important to us on their post.  So without further ado:

silverpoetry for creating contemplative and amazing poems

Broadside for writing about a myriad of social issues and what it means to be a “grown up”

as long as i’m singing for writing about life and providing creative pieces that offer a different perspective

truthlets & thought bits for sharing her unique perspectives on life and being honest

Romancing the Bee for sharing everything one needs to know about raising bees and making it interesting.  Lots of recipes and travel photos, too.

I have two honorable mentions.  The following do not accept awards, so I am not giving them one, just plain old recognition.  Both share poetry and creative pieces and are fun to read.

My Word Your

Crazy Life…

Please check them out if you haven’t already!  Again, thank you, Seventhvoice, for the nomination.

You Guys Spoil Me!

Sisterhood of the pedicure! I, of course, shunned bright, summery colors for Russian Navy.

Is this a coincidence?!  Fate?  Happenstance?  Whatever it is, all I know is that it freaking rocks!  Today I hung out with my girlfriends (sisters if you will) going out to lunch and getting a pedi (isn’t that what sisters do?), and then I also discovered that Jodi Ambrose, a blogging sister of mine, nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award.  Just like the “my side of the computer screen” friends, Jodi is smart, sassy, and keeps me laughing. We also have the same weird habits of peeling off all of the chocolate on our favorite candies and not mixing our food– so we must be related somehow. If you have yet to check out her blog, please do so.

Pretty cool!

However, I’m feeling the love all over with you guys.  Since I’ve started less than three months ago (June 7th will be the “official” anniversary), you have all decided to follow my meanderings about teaching, travel, books, my family, boobies, and whatever else has crossed my mind, and you have stayed with me through it all. All of you and my Facebook readers have made me this close to 5,000 views, and I remember being excited when I had 13. Who’da thunk it?  Not me, for sure. None of this could have happened without you, and I am very grateful for all of your comments, support, and advice you have given me.  I feel spoiled.

Now to the award.  One of the rules for this award is for me to share 7 random facts about myself and to nominate others.

My 7 random things:

1.  I do not like to eat off of yellow plates.  Hubby will never live down the time he decided to serve fish sticks and creamed corn on a yellow plate, and he hasn’t made that meal or given me the yellow plate since.

2.  I have a huge thing for men with bows and arrows.  Errol Flynn, Robin Hood (any will do, but I think Russell Crowe just might be the winner followed by the Disney fox), Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings (the only redeeming factor of all 75 hours of those films), and most recently, Jeremy Renner in The Avengers.

via Marvel-movie.wikia

3.  I visited Alcatraz when I was 10 (?), and I believed that Al Capone’s spirit latched onto me, followed me home and would kill me in my sleep.  I literally scared myself sick. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom, she remembers it well. It would have been nice had someone clued me into the fact that he died in Florida of syphilis.

Whew! Not out to get me!

4.  My first pet was a cockatiel.  His name was Mister Feathers.

5.  One of my all time favorite books growing up was Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.  I connected with her ambivalence at growing up and trying to figure out how she fit in in the world.

I don’t know how many times I read this book. Margaret really spoke to me.

6.  I have four romance novels that I like to read when I want to escape from it all. Hubby will ask, “You’re reading Sweet Liar again?  How many times have you read that book?”  (The other three are Knight in Shining ArmorDreaming of You, and Once and Always.  If I could find it again, I would add Perfect to that list.  Yes, I know, I’m a total sap.)

7. I almost dumped my husband when we first started dating because I thought he laughed too much at my jokes.  I’m not that funny.  He apparently thinks I am.

Now for the main part: my nominees.  I have recently made some new blogging friends and all of them provide great posts and unique perspectives on the world. A couple of them are new to WordPress, and they have made promising starts. Please check them out!  Since this is a “sisterhood” award, it’s going to the ladies. Maybe we should start a “Bromance Blog Award” for the gents.

Last, but not least, I want to give my mom a shout out for reading all of my posts and being a great resource.

The Results Are In! What Toby Thought…

For the very first ever “What Is Toby Thinking?” challenge we have a tie!  To add to the whole competition fun, the winners’ names correspond so well: they are Dad Knows and Shut Up Dad.   If you have not checked out their blogs, please do so.  They both have wry senses of humor but about disparate topics.  Dad Knows will help you determine if that is really a praying mantis you’re seeing, while Shut Up Dad can help you determine your favorite instrument.

Here is how they both have given me insight to my enigmatic Toby:

The image in question.

Dad Knows: “The sunset sure is a fine one tonight. I wonder how quick first class mail is these days. Did I eat dinner? I think I’ll turn in and listen to Coltrane while I do some reading.” Oh, wait – what’s TOBY thinking. In that case, “I don’t think she saw me sneak that second sip of her wine. But, darn it, my tongue is numb.”

Shut Up Dad: Cat food? I said seared tuna…(in a “no duh” monotone style)

Round of applause everyone?


Remember it could be you on the leader board!  Watch for the next segment of the “What’s Toby Thinking?” challenge!

Recognizing Others

One of the things that makes the blogging world rock way more than the “real” world (no, not the one on MTV, but the one on your side of the computer screen) is that we can openly recognize and appreciate each other.  In the real world we work and toil, wipe the sweat off our brow, and maybe the boss, client, student says “thank you for _____________ (fill in the blank with whatever you excel in)”.  A little “thank you”or recognition every now and then goes a long way.  It lets us know that we’re on the right track and that we matter.

It is very cool that there are a variety of “awards” that bloggers can use to recognize each other.  This week I have been fortunate enough to receive the Liebster Award from Nomadic Noesis (who also has another blog Gen BLT). Her first blog is made up of her poems and excellent book lists.  If you want a book to read that is of high quality, check out her blog.  Her second blog is for the “sandwich generation”, those who are in the middle with grown kids and aging parents.  She provides many resources and support for those who are making the difficult transition into parenting the parent.

The Liebster Blogger Award rules are:
1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers.
3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites.
4. Add the award image to your site.

Jodi Ambrose , a very fun sass mouth who helps people get the most out of their relationships, nominated me for the Sunshine Blog Award.  She blogs about more than just relationships, and each post is always entertaining.

Rules to Accept the Award:

  1. Include the award logo in a post or somewhere on your blog.
  2. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 to 12 other fabulous bloggers.
  4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.
  5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Answers to the Ten Questions About Me:

1. What is a favorite childhood memory?

Eating zucchini bread with Country Crock butter spread at my grandparent’s house in the summer while watching Bewitched and the Beverly Hillbillies.

2. What is a real fear you have?

Gravity letting go.

3. How would you describe yourself?


4. What states have you lived in?


5. What is your style?

Preferably jeans, t-shirt, Converse.  No muss-no fuss.

6. What is your favorite breakfast food?

Oatmeal with apples, walnuts, and cinnamon.

7. What are some of your hobbies?

Reading.  Writing.  Walking. Napping.

8. If you could tell people anything…what would be the most important thing to say?

Do good and do well.

9. What is one of your “passions”?

Helping kids do good and do well.

10. What is one truth that you have learned?

There’s always more to learn, books to read, and roads to walk.  It’s never finished.

I have been very fortunate to have been nominated for awards before, and I have nominated many others (see this post, this post, and this post).  My list this time is a bit small since I am currently befriending new bloggers, but here are some new ones that I have enjoyed and hope you will, too.

Angela Vierling-Claassen

Good Old Girl


All That Charms


Also, make it a daily challenge to yourself to find a couple new bloggers a day and comment on their posts, because the next best thing to an award is a comment.  It’s a great way to recognize others and make a new friend.

Genuine Sunshine

When I started this blog two months ago, I really had no idea what would happen as a result of it.  Would anybody read it?  Would anybody like it? Would anybody care?  Now this is my 65th (?) post and from post 1 to now I’ve developed a nice group of followers that span the globe, I have had my blog deactivated by WP (got flagged as spam), and I have “met” some  amazing and supportive co-bloggers.  It’s them who keep me coming back.

Sometimes I think about giving it up and getting my reading time back, but then I think about weird conflicts and what’s going on with his students and children, and they’re both lucky to have him.  Or I think about my new Michigan friend Dad Knows and his views on family and nature; he doesn’t consider himself funny, but he’s funny.  Then there’s the wry humor of Sweet Mother who reflects on the ridiculous in the world.  Then there’s Abbie at All that makes you… who shares her very funny stories about raising three boys.  And Omar at underdog comedy who provides a glimpse into the world of stand up.  For new poetry everyday, there is Five Reflections who writes amazing haikus and Dean J. Baker who writes compelling poems that, for me, remember lost moments.  And Habiba at My Word Your who also writes poetry and provides insight into Pakistani life.  And That Fred Guy who has a crazy Canadian sense of humor who cracks me up.  Even though you would have to pry away grains from my cold dead hands, I do enjoy reading glutenvygirl as she explores the gluten-free life in a fun way. And then there’s bohemianspiritedmom who nominated me for the Genuine Blogger and the Sunshine Award. Her posts about being a mom and raising a family in this crazy world.   So it is not WordPress that keeps me here, it’s all of you.

Genuine Blogger Awards doesn’t come with any specific rules, however, the Sunshine Award does, and here they are:

  1. Link the award to the person who gave it to you.
  2. Answer the questions that come with it.
  3. Pass it along to 10 people and let them know they have received it.

The questions are:

  • Favorite color: Blue
  • Favorite number: 9
  • Favorite Non-alcoholic drink:  water
  • Facebook or Twitter:  Facebook
  • My Passion: Toss up between reading, writing, and napping
  • Favorite pattern:  Stripes
  • Favorite Day of the Week:  Friday
  • Favorite Flower:  My blue rose

My nominees are listed above.  Please check out their blogs and their work. Again thank you, bohemianspiritedmom and all of you who follow and read my blog.

A Good Day Made Better

I just spent part of my afternoon shooting the breeze with some students, some of whom were in my most fun English 10 Honors a couple of years ago and now are on the verge of graduating.  We reminisced about that class and the good times we had.  I was feeling especially happy because we just finished the elections for next year’s Academic Decathlon officers, and I was afraid it would be a popularity contest.  It turns out that the most popular students were also the same ones who really deserved to win and had earned the right to be an officer.  The new president and I high-fived and exclaimed, “Dream Team!” at the same time.

The blogosphere, it seems, conspired to increase my happiness, for Asifa nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thank you, Asifa, for educating me on India through your vignettes, your UN contributions and your poetry.  Your constant support of my blog means a lot to me.

The rules of the award are simple:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Here is my list of nominees for the Versatile blogger award in no particular order; they are all good reads and represent a variety of perspectives:

{Hungry Heart}{Thirsty Mind}


Raising a Realist



Joe’s Primal Scream

Word Play



Pouring My Art Out


All that makes you…


In My Opinion…

Classroom as Microcosm

Seven things about me:

1.  My favorite presidents are Harry Truman, Abraham Lincoln, and FDR.

2.  I would love to visit New Mexico.

3.  My favorite contemporary novel is Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.  Check it out.  His So Brave, Young, and Handsome is a great read, too.

4.  My last meal would be my mom’s Spicy Pasta Pie (made with button mushrooms, Mom), a tossed green salad, and a glass of milk.

5.  I met my husband at Humboldt State when we took Early Modern European History together.  We both wore Converse, we both drove Saturns, and yet it took me one and a half years to finally go out with him (I had lessons to learn).

6.  My favorite color is blue.

7.  Artie Shaw’s Begin the Beguine tickles my ear.

Me? A Beautiful Blogger?! Why, Thank You!

Over the past few days my husband and I have had a rather emotional experience taking care of his mother who recently had a total hip replacement as the result of a fall.  It’s been difficult to watch her be in pain (she has a very high threshold for pain, so when she shows it, we know she really hurts), and it’s been difficult watching my husband go on an emotional roller-coaster as he grappled with living far away, made arrangements for her care, and struggled with the fact that his job is demanding and he could not stay to be with her.  She is doing well, but there were occasions when we just felt helpless.  For those who are the care-givers of family members, I salute you.

So, it was a really nice surprise this morning to discover that I had been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger award. (Maybe the person who originated this award wanted a means to rank bloggers’ Gravatar images… then it got misconstrued and was applied to content.  Who knows?  Any-hoo, I’m happy to have it.)

Rules for the award are:

1.Thank the person who gave you the award
2.Paste the award on your blog
3.Link the person who nominated you for the award
4.Nominate your choice of bloggers
5.Post links to the blogs you nominated

Thank you My Word Your Ear for contributing your reflections on everything from life, poetry, medical school and Harry Potter.  Your writing is thoughtful and funny.  Thank you for giving recognition to my little blog a half a world away.

Here are my nominees and they represent a wide view of life.  They are in no particular order:

1. Bohemianspiritedmom

2. Cricketmuse

3. Weird Conflicts

4. thatwritinglady

5. Sweet Mother

Happy reading and writing fellow bloggers!