friends-followers-award

AWARD, AWARD, AWARD!

Marilyn Armstrong:

I wanted to write all about these awards and of course, the one that was given to me — The Imagine Award. Which I love because if there’s one quality I value in myself and others it’s imagination. But time is short for me right now and I thought perhaps a simple reblog and a HUGE thank you might suffice. Love you Sharla! You’ve been a true and faithful friend and a wonderful supporter.

Originally posted on catnipoflife:

My, my, my! Three awards! Thank you, Raani , Ute , and Texas !

friends-followers-awardThe Friends and Followers Award comes by way of Raani York. Raani writes a very unique blog, which you must visit in order to truly appreciate.  While she writes in many categories, my favorite is her letters to celebrities. What a hoot! She carries them for one wild ride! Then, of course, there are Jake’s antics and viewpoints recorded as the Diary of a Cat Prince :-)

According to Raani, this is a relatively new award. It was created by Nerissa at Nerissa’s Life. The Friends and Followers Award was created to celebrate the 75,000th hit at Nerissa’s blog. Congrats, Nerissa!

Here are the rules:

  1. Post the award on your blog. 
  2. Thank the blogger who gave you the award and follow them (by any means necessary ). 
  3. Pass along the award to a few friends…

View original 653 more words

NOT FRESHLY PRESSED? HELP IS ON THE WAY!

What is Freshly Pressed? It is the opinion of editors hired by WordPress. It promises that some blogs are better than others, deserve special recognition and indicates that these people know what good is and have assigned themselves the task of giving out this recognition.

YOU ARE A WINNER - 150 12X12

I believe in merit. I also believe in fairness. While some awardees have created funny, creative, original material and have earned recognition, that is far from universally true. Many other recipients are nothing special, writing stuff that has no social value and little relevance. It’s not especially funny or even interesting. But it is whatever pleases WP’s editors — and they answer only to themselves.

Freshly Pressed gets dangled in front of bloggers not only as an award, but as the opportunity to gain a broader readership. They will promote you, put your material where everyone can easily see it. For those of us who have labored long and hard, produced a lot of really good material only to have it ignored, it’s a virtual slap in the face and it hurts.

Why are the same sites recognized over and over again while others, as deserving or more so, are shut out? Some of us apparently can never meet whatever ephemeral standards are being applied. Because the judging standards are never stated, you can never object to the judgment. There are no criteria to be met, just that somebody noticed you and deems you worthy.

This kind of thing makes many people, including me, feel sad. We aren’t just blogs. We aren’t faceless corporations. We are real live people doing something for which we get no reward except the chance to have our words read, our photographs reviewed. Yes, we crave recognition. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t want the validation of being Officially Recognized? Even if it’s by a self-appointed board of recognizers?

I’ve appointed myself an official recognizer. Allow me to present my bona fides.

I spent more than 40 years as a professional writer by which I mean I got paid to write and my work was published by the people who paid me to do it. There is nothing which screams professional more than that. I also wrote and published a book that still, to this day, actually sells a few copies here and there, though it was published originally in 2007. Just last week, Amazon notified me that I have earned $10.24 in royalties this past quarter (be still my heart)!

I am a real editor of real books and a pretty good photographer, if not the most skilled user of Photoshop. However, my skills are improving and towards that end, I have created an award. It’s the “I deserve an award,” award. You don’t have to pass it along to any specific number of people. You don’t have to reveal 12 inner secrets you’ve never revealed before. You can send it to people you think would like to have it and deserve it. Display it on your site and maybe this thing will catch on.

Have fun. Remember, guys and gals: We do not need validation or approval from WordPress. Their opinions as to what constitutes quality are no better than mine or yours. It is merely their opinion. If people like you, read you, visit your site, look at your pictures, comment on how they appreciate what you do? That is validation. That is approval. That means something. Don’t let a lack of “official” recognition sour you. Don’t stop having fun doing what you do!

This badge is 375 pixels square and should fit comfortably into a column or footer. I’ve put one on my front page so you can see if that’s the size you want. If you want a badge in a different (smaller or larger) size, I can fix it for you. Let me know what you want.

YOU ARE A WINNER - 180 275px sq

I’m going to pass this to a few of you and leave it to you to pass it to others. Use discrimination and give it to sites that do quality work, help others, rescue dogs, provide important medical information that can be hard to find. Give it to those whose pictures make you say WOW, whose posts make you laugh and cry and think.

I’m picking a few of you to get the ball rolling, but many more of you deserve it. I am just flu-ridden and too tired to pick through the many worthy bloggers I know. I’m not ignoring anyone, honest. I have the kind of chest cold that makes me feel a poke in the eye with a sharp stick might be more fun. You know, wheezing, coughing, can’t breathe, eyes running headache, fever and even more body aches than usual? I’ve gotten this far, but I can’t go another inch. I’m done and used up. Love you all!!

You don’t have to do anything with this if you don’t want to. And anyone reading this is welcome to join in and pass this to others who you believe have been unfairly overlooked. It is entirely up to you.

Let’s encourage each other. Be strong and blog on!

ENCHANTED SEASHELLS: Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

The Library Lady and Rosie Bear: Humor / Book reviews

4 writers and readers

Catnip of Life

Sunday Night Blog

Sweetwildflower: Recipes, Crafts, Tips, Writing

Daily Prompt: I’d Like to Thank My Dogs, Husband, Friends, and All Benign Deities

In accepting The George Burns award for surprising achievement in not dying, I recognize it is a trifle premature. The year is not yet over, but I thank you all for your optimistic projections of a future in which I hope to be a living participant.

Thank you George Burns, for leading the parade to Longevity. Betty White may yet show you up! I think there’s a chance she will live forever. But then, I thought you’d never die either.

Thank you, thank you. Thank you all. No flowers, please, cash only.

George Burns Award

A Twofer for Moi! Word Press Family Member (In need of washing) Plus The Sunshine Award

A huge thank you goes to Draliman on Life who obviously thinks better of me than I deserve. One award is a big deal, but a twofer … and two I’ve never received before. Thus he honors me while depriving me of bloggers to whom I might pass these awards. I mean, there oughtta be a law, y’know?

I was going to defer doing this until I next come up for air. But I started counting on my fingers (consider it a fleshy abacus with limited functionality, but infinite availability) and realized it might easily be the end of August or even September before I find a space in time. I might as well just do it.

I’ve been broadening my reading, writing, reviewing, picture-taking and enjoying the results immensely, but collapsing under the weight of committment to so many deadlines. They don’t call them deadlines for nuffin’! Yoicks. Why do I do this to me? Truly I am my own worst enemy. I’ve been enthusiastically saying YES my whole life. So you’d think I’d have learned something. Apparently not so much. Old Dogs (or Bitches, in my case) can learn new things, but are not so good at unlearning old bad habits. Woof.

Whining time is officially over.

Sunshine AwardNK-1

On to the accepting portion of the program. The two awards with which I’ve been honored are the Sunshine Award — which I assume has to do with spreading light and joy throughout cyberspace. I’m not sure I’m such a ray of sunshine, but I take pretty pictures and say something fun now and again. Maybe that’s what counts. Note I’ve created a shiny new badge ’cause the old one was getting a bit droopy.

The rules for the Sunshine Award require me to answer a few questions. These are not mind bending quizzie things, so I think I can get through them unscathed. And … I can do it with pictures! Yay! Yah? I’ve taken a few liberties because some of the questions were meaningless to me, so I didn’t include them. You’re welcome to add anything you want, however.

Favourite colour?75-RainbowNK-2

Favourite animal?

Bonnie Resting

Big Guy

cropped-75-pasturenk-363.jpg

Favourite number?

FortyTwo

Favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Mr. Coffee

My passion?

Our books say a lot about us ... maybe too much.

Cameras

Cameras

Prefer getting or giving presents?

Be sure to close the barn door on your way out
Favourite days of the week?

Mayan calendar
Favourite flower?

summer flowers

The second award is the WordPress Family award. I am definitely a part of this family, but apparently Mom and Dad at WordPress don’t approve of me. I’m the kid (every family has one) about whom they speak in whispers behind closed doors. With 80,000 hits, more than 350 followers plus well over 1000 posts, I have never written or posted a single thing worthy of Freshly Pressed.

cropped-75-sunshinegoldhp-1.jpg

I think I’ll survive the slight though I remain forever un-fresh, un-pressed and unheralded. I embrace my cyber family and joyfully contribute to daily prompts in photography and writing, though I’m stale as old coffee. Ah, but when I think of all my pals on the humongous cyber blogsite in the sky, my virtual sun shines again!

WordPress Family Award

YOU guys, you out there …. you’ve all been so kind and so welcoming. You’ve changed my world in all the good ways worlds want changing. It makes the effort a joy rather than a burden, gives me a focus for my days (and my nights, as often as not).

Here are the rules for the WordPress Family award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog. Done!

2. Link back to the person who nominated you. Done again!

3. I will nominate 10 others who I think deserve notice. That’s 10 combined for both awards, right? Because 20 is over the top. I want to point out if we keep requiring every recipient to pass it on to 10 or more bloggers, every blogger will have received every award many times over. This is effectively a pyramid scheme, a chain letter. It can’t keep expanding forever.

Many of the people to whom I want to give awards have just gotten them, from me or someone else. I have a suspicion they won’t consider another an honor. More a lot of work for which they don’t have time. Maybe it’s time to consider making sensible modifications to these awards. ALL the awards. Before no one wants them.

4. I will advise my 10 awardees of that I have awarded them. But it’s going to take a while.

5. This is it. The big moment. Ten — that’s 10 — friends who blog. I’m spreading love. I got it. A minyan.

All of you, heads up! You, at the computer. Don’t look around, I’m talking to you.

I’m giving you two awards. You may choose to ignore them, acknowledge them or pass them along to whoever you feel would genuinely like to receive them. And deserves them.

To my friends who have gotten every single award I’ve gotten, often at the same time — I’m not going to name you again. I love you as much as ever, but I understand you’ve got lives and obligations. Maybe even a family and a job. If you genuinely want more awards, let me know because I’m not sure how many of you see this as an honor versus how many wish I’d take my awards and disappear. I love you, I really do, but I don’t wish to burden you.

The Bookshelf of Emily

The IPC

Lasers, Monsters, and Barbarians, Oh My!

Films and Things

My Beautiful Things

Fish of Gold

The Queen Creative

Iam Who Iam

Catnip of Life

Sunday Night Blog

- – -

A Versatile Blogger says Thanks

I must both thank and congratulate Mike Smith at Mikes Film talk for honoring me (again) with the Versatile Blogger Award. We appear to be on an award exchange program that seems to be working out well for both of us, especially me :-)

This is my fifth Versatile Blogger award. It definitely grants me “award-winning site” status and actually, as one of the awards that is highly appropriate to my site — I’m nothing if not versatile —  makes me feel appreciated. Special even. I realize I will never be everyone’s favorite cuppa tea, but there are a few deranged people out there that do seem to like me. Perhaps because they are equally deranged? 

I think one has to be a bit mad to persist at the whole blogging thing. We don’t make money and whatever fame and glory we garner is fleeting and limited to a community of other crazy people who do the same thing. I could say we each do it for our own reasons, but that’s not entirely true. We do what we do in our way, each of us focused on what most interests us … or, as do Mike and I, focus on whatever has grabbed our attention now.

But that’s what we do, not why we do it. It certainly doesn’t explain why we continue to work at it when we are sick, tired and would just as soon go shopping. What drives all of us is a kind of internal prod. It makes us return to the keyboard, the camera, both, or whatever. We do what we do because we need to do it. Despite rumors to the contrary, ambition isn’t a big prod in the blogging world. Big numbers are a bit of validation and may indicate you’ve become a moderately well-known blogger … but really, we are equal in this world.

Whether we have 10 followers or thousands, our fame — notoriety? — whatever you want to call it, is ephemeral. If we stop publishing, we will be swallowed up by the cyberworld with the speed of a high-speed connection. Maybe some particularly close friends will remember us but as for the rest of the world? We will be no more remembered by the bigger world than is a pebble thrown into a pond once the ripples have disappeared. It’s a big world and ripples don’t remain long to trouble the surface of the pool.

If you have never visited Mike site, I urge you to visit. Despite the title of his site, it’s not all about movies. He talks about movies and does excellent reviews, but he also talks as much about books, life, and the meaning of everything. Setting titles aside, he is passionately eclectic, something to which I fully relate.

These awards are a great way to learn about new blogs and their writers. Each award is set up to allow the reader to learn more about the guy or gal who posts and, serves to drive “traffic” to that site. It helps turn a bunch of miscellaneous writers, photographers, movie lovers, pundits and Sunday philosophers into something like a cyber community. It makes a difference. Many of us count on our internet community for feedback and a hook to a larger world that we can access on our own.

Award rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Name the bloggers to whom you would like to pass the award and send them a link to tell them you’ve selected them.

4. Finally, tell the person who nominated you seven things about yourself.

Number’s one and two have been accomplished. I cross-reference Mike’s site on a daily basis. You can always find him in my blog roll, recent “likes” list, and frequent reblogs of his fine postings.

Nominees:

Now, for a few some nominees: Sharla at Catnip of Life. Sharla, I love you. I don’t expect you do deal with this until your life is a little less fraught. Just wanted to remind you that you are very far from forgotten! Sharla is the epitome of eclectic and versatile, manages to be an upbeat and wonderfully supportive friend to so many people. If you need a pep talk, drop by her site. There’s always something positive and encouraging.

My Beautiful Things, a woman who find beauty everywhere and in everything. In a world where so many people seem to be grumpy and discontented all the time, it’s a real pleasure to know someone who is exactly the opposite! Go and visit … and be inspired!

Vastly Curious is the perfect versatile blogger. She writes about every that interests her and her interests are many and varied. Her photography is top drawer and she writes beautiful. If you have been to visit, please do. Whatever interests you, she’s got it on her site!

I have gifted pretty much everyone else with at least one award recently, so I’m, going to quit while I’m ahead. I’ve got a lot of awards in my back pocket. If I accidentally missed you, if you let me know, I will instantly rectify the problem. I’m not sure how many awards I can heap on friends before I start being the (virtually) annoying friend who keeps dropping in around dinner time.

I can gift anyone with almost anything at any time, so beware! I’ve got YOU in my crosshairs!

And About Me:

I have a collection of hard plastic and composition dolls of the 1930 through 1950s. Although I’ve stopped adding more dolls, I still have a few hundred of them and their eyes follow me where I do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ONE:

I used to collect very antique Chinese porcelain. I have a Tang horse (real, not reproduction), a Han pot, and many vases.

Tang Horse

TWO:

Despite their antiquity, they look great with daffodils or roses. The Chinese really knew a thing or two about pottery and glazes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

THREE:

We have too many books, but we’ve read all of them.

MystuffNIK_06_01

FOUR:

We have too many movies, but we’ve seen all of them (and can do dialogue with most of them).

MystuffNIK_01_01

FIVE:

We have too many dogs, but we adore them and couldn’t live without them.

Mystuff_NIK-12_01

SIX:

My hair turned white over night when I was ill, just like in bad novels.

96-HidingFaceCR-228

SEVEN:

The only time I’m not reading, writing, processing photographs or editing text, I’m at the doctor, eating, cooking or sleeping. It seems I don’t have a very eclectic life, just taste :-)

Related articles

Best Moment Award

Marilyn Armstrong:

A new award for me … and one I’ve never heard of that shall require some thoughtful contemplation. Meanwhile, congratulations to Mike and my co recipients!

 

Originally posted on MikesFilmTalk:

Best-Moment-Award

I owe a heartfelt thank you to Sandra over at quirkybooks who nominated me based on my blog post – 50,000 Plus! Thanks Guys. This is the first time I’ve received this award and I am, to put it plainly, chuffed to bits (in American English that means damned happy). So  again, Sandra, thanks!

I also owe a gesture of gratitude to the kind folks over at Moment Matters who started this whole thing in the first place. They’ve even made up an award logo for the recipients to paste on their wall. It is the one at the top of this post and it is very impressive looking.

The words and music that accompany this award are below:

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered -
Savoring the…

View original 623 more words

60,000 Hits … and I’m a Versatile Blogger, too!

I passed the 60,000 hit mark today, so it seemed an opportune time to accept the Versatile Blogger Award from Dorothy at Eyes to Heart.

It is a pleasure and an honor to receive this award and I am grateful to be found worthy. Dorothy creates images and matches them with words that catch the essence of things, like starlight in a bottle. Some remarkable imagery that I urge you to explore. She is special and has a unique perspective. If you need an example, the following picture of a piece of the  Sydney Opera House is a fine example of the beauty she sees.

Sydney Opera House Roof Detail

 Recognition is always gratifying and it’s lovely when an award and a milestone coincide. This one seems especially appropriate and timely. When members of the blogging community recognize one as having some sort of genuine talent, it makes up for a lot.

If prophets have no honor in their home town, bloggers don’t get no respect from family and friends. They may love us, but they know no matter how wise and witty we seem to be online, we are really the same jerks they’ve known since we were kids and probably even jerkier. Fortunately, blogging gives us a fresh start, letting us show our best face to the world. Our new friends don’t have to know about the other stuff, things we barely remember ourselves because after so many tequila shots, who remembers? It’s good to have a wider world ’cause the folks who had to haul your unconscious butt home in the back of a VW beetle will never give you an award for being versatile, inspiring, or anything else.

versatileblogger11The Versatile Blogger Award is a favorite award because it seems more “me” than other blogging awards. I’ve never aimed to be a particular kind of blogger, never focussed on one area to the exclusion of others. Versatile and mutable would be good descriptors for me as a blogger and a person. I respond to the feelings of others as if they were my own. I react to events rather than marching to a particular drum or along a specific path. When I was younger, I could be enlisted in particular causes, but as I’ve gotten older, I try to use my energy efficiently and let  life and the universe direct where my efforts will be best used. For the astrologically inclined, it’s a Pisces thing. We are tidally related to our world. As the waters ebb and flow, so do we. We do not march nor follow dogma, but can create quite a strong current when we direct our flow to a purpose.

I don’t know from day-to-day what will catch my fancy, what event, dream or thought will set my fingers flying over the keys. The relative importance of my memories and how I feel about them isn’t fixed. I feel very differently about almost everything now than I did a few years ago and will continue to change as life twists me into new shapes. I doubt 16-year-old me would recognize 66-year-old me. I’m not even sure they would like each other.

Now to the business of accepting this award. There are some rules that go with it. I bend these rules as I bend all rules. You’ll just have to deal with it. If this were the Oscars, I’d make a long, boring speech. I would thank everyone I’ve ever known until someone gave me the hook and dragged me bodily from the stage, but this isn’t the Academy Awards and I’ve always thought those speeches were stupid. I’ll just say “Thank you” and get on with it to good parts.

These are the traditional rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Next, name the bloggers to whom you would like to pass the award and send them a link to tell them you’ve selected them.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself,

Since I’m not traditional, I do things a little differently. I feel I’ve told everybody just about everything they could possible want to know about me, so I tell you about my world in pictures. I so not limit myself to naming a specific number of blogs or bloggers as nominees. Not everyone wants or accepts awards and sometimes, you’ve given awards to just about everyone you know and it’s time to give it a rest for a while. Fortunately (or not?) for my community, I have a little list so after you have viewed my gallery of selected images, you may find your name listed. Some are people to whom I always give awards because I always think they deserve them. Others are recent members of my community.

Catnip/Awakenings I have intentionally omitted because she is fighting other battles right now. Sharla, I love you, and you are not forgotten. Take care of Jim and be strong. I’ll give you a dozen or so awards when you are ready to deal with them.

Now the fun part. Here are the blogs I nominate for The Versatile Blogger Award. I hope when you have a moment you’ll take an opportunity to pay them a visit. These blogs have moved and inspired me each in their own way, and while I’m not always able to visit as regularly as I would like, I do appreciate you and you matter to me more than you might imagine.

The Recovering Legalist

Christine M Grote

Euzacasa

Films and Things

My Favorite Westerns

My Beautiful Things

With a Friend Like Gary

rarasaur

Sunday Night Blog

pujakins

Reflections of a Book Addict

Silk Screen Views

Head In A Vice

Mikes Film Talk

Thanks to all of you and I encourage everyone who stops by here to check out these wonderful bloggers. They are creative, original voices that will make you smile, make you think and maybe, inspire you to try new things and go new places.

To anyone I left out, I am sorry. Some of you I know don’t want awards, others I’ve awarded very recently. No one is really forgotten. I’ll catch you on the next round!

-

1001 Posts and The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

I have been nominated for two awards: The Versatile Blogger Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger award by the remarkable  John W. Howell, at Fiction Favorites. If you are a lover of words and books, you should visit his site. There’s a lot to see and a great deal to learn.

He is a multi-talented man and he shares his experience and knowledge freely. John, for his part, received this pair of awards from Katrina Perkins, a woman whose blog is always worth a visit since she has great scoops on the stage and film-making businesses. It was Katrina’s idea to package this pair of awards into one called The Dragon’s Loyalty Award.

She created a special logo for this duo. It’s on the right. You might not want it on the coffee table, though for me, it depends on the size of the dragon. If it’s a little dragon, I might quite enjoy having it front and center in the living room. Keep the pups in their place. Besides, we already have a plethora of statuettes. Not mine, but impressive enough for a couple.

In an interesting boomerang karmic return, Natasha Harmer at Films and Things has also honored me after one of my honorees honored her,  and I want to thank her most warmly for liking me enough to select me. Please take a look at her site too. She talks with great intelligence and class about movies and things. Just like the name of her site implies.

Usually, there are a few rules that go with awards and this is no exception:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website
  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

This is a most propitious day to accept awards. A bunch of milestones have collided, perhaps related only circumstantially but to me, it all feels related.

1000 Posts and Counting

Yesterday, when I posted a reblog from Catnip of Life, I was caught by surprise to realize it was my 1000th post. A thousand posts. Wow. It had crept up on me very quietly. Sneaky. I knew it was coming and had been planning to write something special to celebrate the milestone. Instead, it just tip-toed up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, said “BOO!” and giggled. I had passed 56,000 hits a couple of days before, but that seemed less noteworthy than 1000 posts. I promptly deleted a few posts that were originals I’ve since re-posted. I figure I will do some more deleting too, which messes up the numbers a bit. But it was exactly 1000, so I’m sticking with that.

“Where did you come from,” I asked. “You really snuck up on me. You should wear a bell or something and not surprise a woman like that.”

“Tee hee,” was all the reply I got. A giggle, a tap on the shoulder and a major milestone has gone by.

Today is post number 1001.

1001posts

About a third of my posts are reblogs and scoops, but even so, I’ve published and written a lot in a short period of time. The past 7 or 8 months has been the most prolific of my life. I think I must have been saving up words all these years. I gotten a lot of positive feedback from other bloggers, but Freshly Pressed apparently doesn’t think I’m particularly interesting. Whatever is they are looking for, I’m not it. I try to not let it bother me because if in a thousand posts they have not found something that makes me worthy, I doubt more will attract them either.

Blogging has been deeply gratifying for me. It has given me my first chance to write and publish without answering to anyone. It’s the first time I’ve gotten any “formal” recognition for writing and it’s the first time I’ve experienced being a part of a community of writers and artists. All of you are wonderful and I am grateful for your friendship and support. Awards are delightful and heartwarming. Although they don’t come with a check attached, nor is there a fancy statuette to display next to my husband’s Emmy on top of the TV, these come with love. Not a statuette, but it makes me feel all toasty. I wish all of you were my real neighbors so I could come sit with you and chat over a cup of coffee. Writing can feel very isolated sometimes, especially in the winter.

Hitting the 1000 post milestone number on the day John awarded this honor to me seemed propitious. And moreover, it’s my 66th birthday tomorrow. Sixty-five was a legal occasion and felt a bit impersonal. Social Security kicked in, Medicaid kicked out. I became officially senior, precipitating fear and trembling since our society does not honor elders. The younger generations would just as soon we went away, taking our experience and our opinions with us. It isn’t personal.

It’s just they want the world for themselves. We stand as reminders of events that are brand new for them but
which we attest have happened before. They are not interested in our history and stories of the old days. They want to inherit what we built, but without us. Alas, but this next generation will have to cope with the painful realization that they did not invent the world nor do they own it. Every generation wants top billing and believes they deserve it — right now. Maybe they do, but like all who have gone before them, they will have to wait their turn.

Statuettes at home

Statuettes at home – Not mine.

This birthday is personal. I’ve had a year of senior citizenship. I’ve fought my way through the bureaucracy into the next phase of personhood. I realize I am closer to 70 than 60 which is very strange because in my head, I’m still just a kid. I am under no illusion that 66 is the “new 28.” I remember being 28 and this isn’t it. My bones tell the story of the relentless movement of time. My empty bank account is a poignant reminder of my daily struggle to survive. I worry about my friends; the crowd is thinning and the holes left by each star as it winks out is a gap I can’t fill.

The world isn’t such a pretty place as it was when I was young. I feel bad about it and the generations that will inherit such a mess.  I would fix it if I could, but I’m old enough to know I can’t. This is a time for acknowledgment, recognition, understanding limits and liabilities. Coming grips with reality. It’s also the last prime time to taste every possible drop of joy from life because endings no longer seem far away or theoretical.

Today, I have received two awards. I announce having passed my thousandth post, I see myself a year older. I’m glad to be here, grateful for my friends. Thank you, all of you.

Time to give some well-deserved recognition to other worthies in the blogging community. Please note: I am not giving awards to anyone who has directly or indirectly told me that he or she doesn’t want them.

You know who you are. If you have gotten awards from me and never acknowledged them, I take this as a clear message you don’t want more awards. If I’m mistaken, let me know. I’m always happy to share the booty but I also don’t want to make a pest of myself and annoy anyone with stuff they don’t want.

So, without further ado, the envelope please:  

mybeautfulthings

catnipoflife

MikesFilmTalk

jcalberta

Head In A Vice

Emily Guido

Rich Paschall

Rarasaur

Scottie Mom

Rumpy Dog

Hot Rod Cowgirl

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlop

Chronicles of Illusions

Our Humble Opinions

Reflections of a Book Addict

We get to the part that always leaves me a trifle baffled. Seven interesting things about me. My blog tends to be something of a tell-all, so I can’t imagine what more there is to tell about me that everyone hasn’t already heard. So instead, I’m going to post pictures of me that you may or may not have already seen. I know it’s not the usual thing, but really, what more can I say about me? I’m getting tired of talking about myself and I didn’t think that was possible.

Here’s a gallery of me-ness. Looking good, looking weird, looking young, old and drab. It’s the various colors of Marilyn.

Related articles

Thanking my readers in a tangible way: The Reader Appreciation Award

ReaderAppreciationAward2

As the first month of this new year crawls to a close, I am grateful to be given a brand new and very special award: The Reader Appreciation Award from Sharla at catnipoflife. Sharla and I exchange scoops, family news, compliments and regrets that we don’t live close enough to visit in person pretty much every day. She has become more than “another blogger.”

She is a friend, the real deal and my world is better because she is in it. I think the world is better for everyone because she is in it and if you have never visited her site, please do. Poetry, quotes … thoughts, feelings and reminders of why being alive is worth the trouble. That’s not facetious: sometimes I need a reminder!

************************************************

There are a few rules for this award, fewer than for most. As the name implies, this goes to other bloggers who have taken the time to comment and sometimes, contribute to your blog … those readers and followers who have moved from the anonymous category into virtual friends. Some live so far away I know we’ll never meet, yet we depend on each other and we care.

What you can’t do:

1) You can’t award it to anyone who has already gotten it during the same year. So if you got it in 2012, you can’t get it until again until 2013. It can be difficult to determine who has which awards since many bloggers get awards but don’t display the badges, at least not obviously. I’ll just take my best guess.

2) The award can’t be given back to the person from whom you receive it. This is a problem because Sharla is always on the top of my recipient list and she is giving me the award. Drat.

As to whom you should give the award, this one is quite specific. The Reader’s Appreciation Award is given to the top 6 blogger/commentors on your site. This is a little complicated for me personally. Of the top six, two are my husband. No, I only have one husband, but my site recognizes him as two people depending on whether he is writing from his desk or laptop.

Garry_72_02

Consider yourself awarded!

It would seem odd to give him a blogging award since, although he is an enthusiastic commenter, he isn’t a blogger but he is my biggest and bestest fan. So instead, to Garry who is always rooting for me, I appreciate you a whole lot.

Sharla herself would be getting this award, but she’s the one giving it to me so again — thank you!

The envelope please:

After due diligence, the award goes to:

Gabrielle at My Heathen Heart

jcalberta at A Celebration Of Western Movies … Pardner !

Bob Mielke at Northwest Photographer

Tyson Carter at Head In A Vice

Sally at My Beautiful Things

Emily Guido at “The Light Bearer Series”

This list is in no particular order and there are people with whom I have a lot of interaction that are not on the list because I can’t include everyone, though I would if I could. Because I appreciate my readers more than any of you can know. You are the people in my world who make doing this, writing, posting, sticking with it every day, worth it. You are the folks who let me know that I’m being heard, being understood. You guys “get” me; that’s something special.

I want to extend my warmest appreciation to all my visitors, followers and readers. Although I have listed only six names (my top six commenters after excluding my husband (times two) and Sharla for reasons previously noted :-) so if your name is absent it isn’t because I don’t appreciate you. Moreover, this award is about thanking readers.

It’s meant to be given away … so if you have supporters to whom you would like to express your gratitude, feel free to grab the badge and pass it on! This is about saying thanks to the wonderful people who support our efforts and enrich our lives. In the end, it is about the joy we get from giving something back to those who “feed” us!

As always, I add the proviso that awards are supposed to make us feel good, happy. We all know that fulfilling the “requirements” of most awards is time-consuming and sometimes, close to impossible. Please do not feel obliged to press yourself beyond your comfort zone. Whatever you do in response to this award, have fun, feel appreciated and don’t stress. This isn’t supposed to make your life harder!

 

Shine On!

shine-on-award

A huge “Thank you” and a hug to Emily Guido for giving me The Shine On Award. I am not convinced I deserve it, but I very much appreciate it.

During the months I’ve been blogging, I’ve encountered many fine, generous people, folks who have offered me support, friendship and encouragement with no agendas. It’s enough to renew my faith in humankind. Emily Guido has been among my most staunch supports. She is one of a handful of people in my acquaintance who has displayed genuine courage. She doesn’t merely do what she must; she does what she can because she believes it matters.

“Shine On” is not a blogging award. It originated in the real world a few years ago and is awarded to men and women who serve their community. I’m not sure who was its original creator, but the award’s description is consistent:

“The recipients of our Shine On Awards are not only incredible men and women who made or are making history, but are also the people remarkably like us all. They work hard, struggle with balance, and dream of a better world. We applaud them for the extraordinary ways they have shared themselves to benefit others.”

Four to be honored at second annual Shine On Awards: The Ogemaw Herald

“There is not nearly enough applause in the life of the average American woman. And you might well think that if you won a Nobel Prize or were the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the juggling act would get easier, but not so. The winners of our Shine On Awards are not only incredible women making history, but also women remarkably like us all: They work hard, struggle with balance, and dream of a better world for themselves and the people they love. We applaud them. And we applaud you, for making a difference in someone’s life every single day.”

 Shine On Award Winners – Women Honored for Charity Work – Good Housekeeping

I’ve found this quote … almost word for word … in multiple places. This award has entered the blogging universe, but it did not originate here. I hope I can adhere to the original spirit of the award — offering recognition to people who have contributed to the greater good of their community.

In the blogosphere, our community is the World. I have put considerable thought into what service I offer other than entertainment. Is offering my opinion and distributing the opinion of others who I believe positively contribute to a sane public dialogue a sufficient service?  Perhaps, though I never thought of it that way. The blogging universe is young. As a group, we are still feeling our way around, figuring out where we fit on this huge stage.

There are blogs on every conceivable subject from fashion to cooking, sports, film, books. decorating, gossip and making people laugh. History buffs and movie mavens, authors, poets, painters and photographers and everyone else have a home on the Internet. More rare are people whose goal is to make the world a better place.

If, as a group, we have any power, it is that we can disseminate information and ideas, offer perspective on issues that concern us. We can sometimes influence minds and opinions and that’s no small thing. Regardless of whether we touch a few dozen people or tens of thousands … whether we focus on art, books, movies, technology, education, faith, ecology, politics … or any of millions of issues, we do what we can.

As a generalist without a specialized focus, I try to encourage literacy, civility and dialogue between people who have something valid to say. Like most of you, I try to do the right thing. I may not agree with your definition of “the right thing,” but I acknowledge the importance of differing opinions. Disagreement is the backbone of a free society.

It isn’t easy for me to recognize the validity of opinions with which I disagree. In fact, it’s the hardest thing I do and one of the most important.

There is far too much hate, anger, and meanness on and off the Internet. Cloaked in the first amendment, people promulgate hate, violence, cruelty and ugliness. I’m sure demagogues and hate-mongers have existed throughout history, but the Internet brings them into our homes and pushes them in our faces. It has become impossible to ignore and I’m not convinced ignoring the clamor is the right thing to do. Ignoring evil is a kind of tacit agreement. Silence doesn’t send the right message.

The recent presidential election brought home with stunning clarity how far we are from being a civil — or civilized — society. I am disturbed at how many people are recklessly careless of how they express themselves. They are either unaware or unconcerned (both?) with the impact their words have, how much pain they cause, how much damage they inflict.

“Words can never hurt me” was a childhood mantra, but it isn’t true. Words hurt, words damage. They destroy reputations and ruin lives. Lies parade as facts. I would never dispute anyones’ right an opinion, but spewing hate isn’t an opinion. Intentional cruelty isn’t an opinion. Applauding and encouraging violence is not an opinion. These do not deserve respect. Hiding behind the first amendment doesn’t make hate, cruelty and violence acceptable. Just because you can’t be jailed for saying it doesn’t make it right. When I can, I weigh in, try to offer informed opinions and support for causes that matter to me. If that’s community service, then I guess I serve. But there are so many others who deserve to be honored, I feel rather like I’m sailing under false colors. All I can say is thank you and I hope I live up to it.

The Shine On Award recognizes individual contributions to the community.

There are no specific requirements, no designated number of recipients or questions to answer. The only requirement is that a recipient be an individual who has contributed to the good of the community.

My two candidates are women who have worked hard to help those who can’t help themselves and to educate others on issues that matter to them.

Jenny Threet of Rumpy Dog has waged a relentless campaign to help save dogs, cats, and other animals who have been victimized or abandoned. She never gives up on the furry creatures she loves and always strives to protect and save them. She deserves recognition for the good work she does. There are a many beautiful creatures who would not be alive today were it not for her efforts.

Jo Ashline of A Sweet Dose of Truth is a fine writer. She is mother to an autistic child and has put her heart and soul into educating people about autism. She takes on other causes too, but autism is near and dear to her heart. She is a determined soldier for truth and justice. I admire her dedication and passion and am very pleased to nominate her for this award.

And that, my friends, is it for now. Some of you to whom I would award this prize have already received it . To the best of my knowledge, my two candidates have not previously received it. I hope I got it right.

There’s no time limit as to when or to whom you can choose to pass it. The important thing is to not cheapen the award or its meaning. It isn’t an award for fine writing, taking beautiful photographs, or making people laugh. All of these are wonderful things, but there are other awards to show that kind of appreciation.

Congratulations and keep on doing what you do. The world is better because you are in it.

Blog of the Year – 2012 … And now we are five!!


I just got my fifth star from Eunice at Living and Lovin:Living Life surrounded by all I love. PEACE. Thank you I am extremely grateful and touched. I didn’t expect it and I’m not sure I deserve it, but it’s great to have it!

I also received the Blog of the Year Award  from Tyson at Head in a Vice , then from Sharla at CatnipOfLife, another from Bette Stevens at 4WRITERSANDREADERS … and yet one more from Sharla via her second blog (talk about ambitious, I can barely keep up with one blog, much less two), Awakenings  … I’m all the way up to five stars. 

It’s amazing to me to  have gotten any awards, but a fifth star is really special and deeply appreciated. I’m not sure I deserve it, but it has turned out to be the high points (five high points) of this otherwise rather difficult holiday season.

Today was the day the world was supposed to end, but it being the Winter Solstice, it actually was the shortest day of the year, which is not the end of the world, just the official beginning of winter … and ironically, the beginning of the lengthening  of the days, the shortest day, the longest night … but also, the beginning of the return of the sun and a hope that spring will come again.

It’s no coincidence that Christmas … Yuletide falls approximately on the Solstice. Every religion, every culture celebrates the solstices as well as the equinoxes. Christianity, as it was developing, adopted an “easier to join them than fight them” attitude … as had every other religion and culture before it. It doesn’t make the holiday less meaningful, it just lets people celebrating at a time that feels familiar, comfortable.

I still have a lot to do. All the wrapping, the grocery shopping. Our trip to visit friends after Christmas just got called off due to illness … hopefully just delayed.  I find myself not feeling the magic. Not feeling festive. Tragedies in the news, close friends sick, one family member passing … and a serious scarcity of money have all combined to make this a dreary excuse for what is usually a fun time of year.

75-Choir_HP-23

And then someone gives me a little star … a bit of recognition … and the world is just that much brighter. Thank you again.

There is definitely something to be said about this virtual world of ours: it is a world of sharing, caring and preparing: Sharing around the world, Caring for others, Preparing for the future. Whatever endeavor you are engaged in at the present moment or seek in days to come, there is always someone willing to tell you his or her story which will in provide a beacon of light down a sometimes dark highway.

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple and easy:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.
  2. Write a blog post and name/tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012 Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
  5. You can now also join The Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars.

_______________________________________________________

Because this is an award that you can “collect” and get many times, I’m going to give it back to people who I know have gotten it before, but who I’m reasonably sure don’t have all six stars yet. I may be wrong, but I think so.

You are people whose work I follow. You mean something to me. You make me laugh, make me feel, make me think, teach me stuff. Some of you suggest ideas, movies, or books to read, watch, or learn, technology, cameras and accessories I might want. Some of you champion causes important to me … and some of you are living lives I wish were mine. Many more of you are living lives a lot like mine and I empathize and sympathize with you. You make me feel less alone.

All of you have touched me. It may not matter a lot to you, but it makes a big difference to me.

For those of you are getting this award again and need one of the other versions with a different number of stars, I’m including (thank you again Sharla) all six of the award medallions at the bottom of this post.

Since I got this fifth star today, I’m going to pass it along to people who to whom I gave it before, but who I’m pretty sure don’t yet have their sixth stars (no, not me … I can’t give it to myself and I wouldn’t if I could … Jeez):

_______________________________________________________

Feel no obligation to do anything beyond your comfort zone. I know the holidays are on us and if you are anything like me, you don’t have time to spare. Do whatever feels good to you and don’t feel obliged beyond that. I may take a week off blogging altogether after this: I’ve got so much to do, I finally feel like if I don’t give myself a break, I’m going to break.

May your holidays be bright, may all good things come to you and yours. May we all move into the New Year with joy and purpose, overcoming all the problems that assail us and coming out the other side.

Revel in the season! Be happy whatever it is you celebrate … and may you enjoy everything you can in any way that brings you peace and joy.

“VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” – My Cup Overfloweth

Very Inspiring Blogger award

Tonight I went with my husband to Sutton’s Congregational Church. They were having their Christmas Concert and Garry and a friend of his had produced a documentary about the concert … how it was put together, how the choir family pulled together to create this every year. It’s playing now on local cable stations around the valley.

75-Choir_HP-17

This was the official Christmas concert performance. Considering how trying these past few days have been, a trip to church to hear Christmas carols was exactly what we needed. It was a nasty night. When we got out of the car at the church, the entire parking lot was covered with black ice. It was drizzling, but just cold enough so that the drizzle froze instantly on all the paved surfaces. I barely made it the 20 or so feet from the car to the church without falling and the minister did fall on her way out of her house.

The concert was lovely. Good singing, lots of smiles. And I took pictures and by the time we left the church, it had warmed up just enough so that the ice was gone. As the minister said, we had been blessed.

And now, blessed again by yet another gift of a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, courtesy of  Dear Kitty. Some blog: On animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women’s issues, arts, and much more. This is a woman whose causes are my causes, whose passions are also mine, a woman who I greatly admire. I am touched and honored to receive this award from her.

I often don’t feel particularly inspiring, but inspiration comes from many sources. I am glad that my words and pictures … and the other posts I find and reblog because I think they are important and worthwhile … provide inspiration for others. It makes the effort worth it to know that there are people “out there” who read the words and it means something to them.

That somehow I’ve gone in less than a year from “who’s that?” to getting more awards than I imagined possible leaves me a little breathless. Awards are always given by people who do not know us intimately. I am sure if people knew me better, they’d be incapable of giving me an award because they would, as my old friends do, remember that time I had one Mai Tai too many, fainted dead away and had to be dragged home by three big guys in a fork lift. People who know you very well may love you, but they don’t give you awards. Moreover, anyone who met my second husband or first boyfriend would never find me inspiring, although I might serve as a cautionary tale … if that could be considered inspirational.

The difference between something that gives me a migraine and something that inspires me can be razor-thin. This last week, full of tragedy and madness has been inspiring … but not in a way I would ever have chosen. It’s been a grim week. I only hope that from this something positive will emerge. I guess we’ll see how long people remember and if all the talk turns into some kind of action.

Being told that I’m an inspiration is an inspiration. It means I have not become irrelevant and maybe the experience of a lifetime is was not entirely wasted. All of you in my blogging world inspire me. I read your stories and poems. I admire your photographs and art. You change my view of the world, the way I do things, give me food for thought. If I do a bit of the same for you, I am glad.

Keith and St. Nick

Happy whatever you celebrate. Celebrate everything, why don’t you? Rejoice that you are alive, because you have a friend, a roof over your head, and maybe something to eat. Forget for a while all the problems and craziness because it won’t forget you … it’ll be there, waiting, when the party’s over. Love you all!!

The rules of this award are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Tell us at least seven things about yourself that you would like to share.
  • Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them. I am not going to set a specific number. I know how difficult it can be to keep coming up with nominees and rather than burden you all with having to find everyone all at once, you can keep a few awards in your back pocket and pass them along when the time is right. The holidays are upon us all, so please don’t feel pressured to push beyond your comfort zone.
  • Notify your chosen bloggers of their nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about myself that I haven’t explicitly said before (at least not where anyone could hear me) are:

  1. I was a music major in college, then finally graduated as a drama/broadcast dual major. I would have stayed for a third major in social science, but they told me I had to graduate.
  2. My favorite movies are comedies. I love to laugh.
  3. I have owned so many cats and dogs that I really can’t remember all of them any more.
  4. I’m a good cook, but after more than 40 years of dishing up meals, I’m very happy to eat other people’s cooking.
  5. If the mother ship comes and offers me a ride, I’m outta here.
  6. I learned to read in about two hours when I was five.
  7. I believe that anyone could write well if they would just remember that writing is just talking through your fingers. Good writing should sound as natural as speech. Most people try too hard; others don’t try hard enough.

My nominees (the envelope please):

  • Lust and Rum: New York, thy name’s “Delirium” — because I grew up in New York and  Anton Brookes’ photography and commentary reminds me that I still love it. His pictures are touching, evocative, the kind of photojournalism you rarely see any more.
  • Wessays – by my old friend Wes Richards whose writing is so good  that every time I read one of his posts, I immediately feel inadequate.
  • Awakenings: Awakenings from Then ’til Now allows you to Embrace Your Past, Empower the Present, Enrich Your Future. Because Sharla inspires me every day in more ways than I can count.

For all of you to whom I’ve already give awards, know you are likely going to get more. I like you, I like your websites, your thoughts, your pictures, you opinions … so you’ll have to cope with getting a few awards now and again. There are worse fates!

Blog of the Year – 2012 … Four Stars (Gee) AND a new recipient!


Having received the Blog of the Year Award last week from Tyson at Head in a Vice , then a second from Sharla at CatnipOfLife, and yet another from Bette Stevens at 4WRITERSANDREADERS … and, as it turns out, one more from Sharla via her other blog, Awakenings  … I’m all the way up to four stars. I’m dizzy from all the attention.

Boy, this is really cool. I feel so appreciated. Wowie zowie! Thank you all my friends. I’m not sure I deserve it, but I really like it!

It was just yesterday that I realized I had to address this award right now. The year is almost over. I am not ready. I am never ready. Ethelred the Unready (my favorite of the ancient Kings of Britain) had nothing on me. I dare anyone to prove that he, she, they or it are any more unready than I am.

I cannot believe how quickly time is passing. The Christmas tree is up, though half the lights are still refusing to do the thing that lights are supposed to do … and while we have no snow on the ground (Thank you Lord!) , the weather reports are full of dire predictions, leading me to assume this will be a white Christmas — if they aren’t just making the whole thing up so that they have something to say.

The tree — which we keep in a box in the attic because we have four dogs and bringing a real tree into the house would indicate a level of insanity exceeding even this family’s quotient — went up on Monday afternoon while I was sitting around waiting for the radiologist to figure out how to make the x-ray machine take a picture of my lungs so that I could enter the holiday season reasonably certain that nothing alien was growing in there (it isn’t).

He never did get it that particular machine to work, so we had to walk across the road and through the ER at the other hospital to get a picture. That machine, though older and far less fancy, worked. As my reward for being such a patient patient and suggesting that if a reboot didn’t do the job, probably the machine was broken (I’m such a genius!), he let me watch the digital image of my lungs appear on the big screen.

Bright lights, bright nights

Bright lights, bright nights

It was very rewarding. There was nothing to see. When you are visiting your oncologist (what? you don’t have an oncologist? doesn’t everyone have an oncologist?) is exactly what you yearn with all your heart to see. Nothing is good. Nothing is delicious and boring and means that you have a moderately good chance of being around next year to see another picture of nothing.

Once upon a time, I had goals, aspirations, dreams and hopes. I was going to write a novel. Hollywood would buy it, I’d be an internationally renowned author. rich in honor and rolling in the big bucks. Kind of like Stephen King, but not in Bangor. I’ve always preferred the coastline of Maine‘s rocky shore. I wanted one of those houses that sort of hangs on the cliff and looks like it’s going to fall right off. These days, several catastrophes later, I think I’d prefer being a few hundred yards back from the cliff. I’ve seen too much television footage of houses falling into the ocean. I don’t think I need to become newsworthy because my house fell into the Atlantic. What good is renown and wealth if one is swimming with the fishes?

Today, my hopes and dreams are more compact and down to earth. I want to live another year … preferably many more. I want to have enough money to keep a roof over my head, food on the table, medication that will prevent my demise, and I want the same good things for everyone. There was a time when I would have assumed these were things everyone had, not something that needed to be wished for. Many things once taken for granted are now gifts to be treasured.

There is definitely something to be said about this virtual world of ours: it is a world of sharing, caring and preparing: Sharing around the world, Caring for others, Preparing for the future. Whatever endeavor you are engaged in at the present moment or seek in days to come, there is always someone willing to tell you his or her story which will in provide a beacon of light down a sometimes dark highway.

One way or the other, soon enough white flakes will fall and then, as in one of the old black and white movies of which my husband is so inordinately fond, the page of the calendar will flip over, the ancient Mayans will slink back into their tombs until their next resurrection and anyone who told his or her boss to screw off will be pounding the pavement (or these days, the keyboard) in search of green(er) pastures.

If I can’t digress, what is the fun of blogging? If I have to stick to the subject, built a logical case for whatever drivel I’m spouting and just be limited to saying stuff that make sense, what will I write about? My life doesn’t make sense. Does yours? If you have a life that is orderly, sensible, a life in which you can predict what each day will bring, then you are probably still very young, so you can still look forward to the craziness of the future. Life happens to everyone, sooner or later. And some of the craziness is fun! Some surprises are good.

Having given awards to pretty much every blog I read and enjoy, and excluding only those who actively refuse to accept awards, I feel inclined to say “back at you” to many of my friends and to let as many people as I can know that I appreciate them. You whose blogs I read, who inspire me, encourage me, and bring me joy and make my world a better place — who make the whole world better because you are in it — all of you deserve awards.

To every one of you who promote causes you believe it, continue to fight the good fights, try to right wrongs, attempt to enlighten, inform, amuse, and raise the consciousness of those who you are able to reach, all of you deserve this award. And, you’re going to get one, even if you have one, even if you have two or three or four. What you do about them is up to you, but know that I notice you, appreciate you, and am grateful you are part of my life.

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple and easy:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.
  2. Write a blog post and name/tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012 Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
  5. You can now also join The Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars.

_______________________________________________________

Because this is an award that you can “collect” and get many times, I’m going to give it back to people who I know have gotten it before.  I think I’ve given awards to all of you before, at one time or another. Some of you have been happy about it, some of you have ignored me. I’m not giving it to anyone who has pointedly told me to get lost. One clear rejection is enough for me.

The point of passing these around is not that you’re getting the Oscar of blog awards … or even that you’re getting another award or if the award thing delights or annoys you. It’s recognition from me, a fellow blogger, that you have made a difference in my world, changed my thinking, helped me learn, enabled me see differently through the camera’s lens, through words, via movies or books or ideas or any combination of these things.

You are important to me. You make me laugh, make me feel, make me think, teach me stuff. Some of you suggest ideas, movies, or books I might want to read, watch, or learn, technology, cameras and accessories I might want. Some of you champion causes important to me … and some of you are living lives I wish were mine. Many more of you are living lives a lot like mine and I empathize and sympathize with you. You make me feel less alone.

All of you have touched me. It may not matter a lot to you, but it makes a big difference to me.

For those of you are getting this award again and need one of the other versions with a different number of stars, I’m including (thank you again Sharla) all six of the award medallions at the bottom of this post.

Because I got another star today, I’m giving out one more of these to someone whose blog I really love … and you can tell how much I like his writing by how many times I reblog  his posts … like, uh, most of them I think.

Here you go — a star to:

Beasley Green: Write up my street … because he manages to make me laugh and think at the same time, which is not unlike chewing gum and walking at the same time (something which isn’t as easy to do as it might sound to the uninitiated). I know you’re busy, but please, write more!

_______________________________________________________

I’ve probably forgotten somebody, maybe more than one somebody. If I did, it’s an accident, I assure you … unless of course you are one of the people who have explicitly told me to not give them awards. I wanted to make sure all of you know that you are important and that I honor you.

Feel no obligation to do anything beyond your comfort zone. I ask only that you play nice and remember you really don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to.

May your holidays be bright, may all good things come to you and yours. May we all move into the New Year with joy and purpose, overcoming all the problems that assail us and coming out the other side.

Revel in the season! Be happy whatever it is you celebrate … and may you enjoy everything you can in any way that brings you peace and joy.

Awards Time

Marilyn Armstrong:

I won’t have time to properly thank Tyson for this very special award for next couple of days, but it seemed like letting him speak in his own words would be a good temporary fix :-) Lately, I feel almost embarrassed at the number of awards and accolades coming my way … to such an extent that I have spent a whole lot more time than anyone should trying to figure out why … ultimately concluding that (a) I must be doing something right, and (b) people have run out of other candidates.
But of course, that’s not really true, because no matter how many awards you get, or I get, I never give them to anyone that I don’t genuinely feel deserves recognition.

There’s another issue involved: In our daily lives, most of us don’t get recognition. We work, we do what we are supposed to do, what we have to do, what we are expected to do by others and ourselves. In my 40 years of work, I’ve gotten very little recognition beyond the occasional “Good job, Marilyn.” No statuettes (Garry has a lot of them!) plaques, etc. I just didn’t work in that kind of industry. No annual awards. Having a job IS the reward. Now, with blogging, I feel like I’m making up for lost time. I will pass this (and another couple of awards) to others. I hope I can make a few other folks feel that their efforts are not going for naught.

Meanwhile, to my faithful audience, please feel free to express your admiration with large cash donations :-)

Thank you all for finding my stuff interesting enough to read, look at, comment on … and even send me the occasional piece of hate mail. In this society, without hate mail, you hardly count in this world.

Originally posted on Head In A Vice:

Awards

Over the past few weeks I have been lucky enough to receive a few of these online awards that are doing the rounds. I always take them in the way I think they are intended, and that way being from one blogger to another who likes or appreciates your work. I know some people dismiss them, and that’s cool, to each their own, but I feel that the person choosing me and my site at the very least deserves a public thankyou!

View original 1,034 more words

“VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” – An honor, a privilege, a puzzlement.

Very Inspiring Blogger award

First of all, thanks to Mike Smith at  MikesFilmTalk who honored me with this, my second Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I have no idea why anyone finds me inspiring, but I like the idea.

I suppose the most inspiring thing about me is that despite everything, here I am, sense of humor intact. Survival is inspirational, but surviving while retaining a sense of humor is better. Unless you are going to be drowning in a sea of your own tears, you’d better laugh because no matter how much crap you’ve already gone through, I can personally guarantee that there is more just down the road past that traffic light. Crap, much like the tax collector, can always find you. You might just as well stop trying to hide because it’s pointless. What’s going to happen is going to happen. If it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make a great story.

Somehow I’ve gone in less than a year from “who’s that” to frequent honoree of awards … inspiring and brave and wise. Getting awards is all about finding someone … or someones … who don’t know you well enough to realize what a jerk you are.  I mean really … does anyone who you know close up and personal ever give you an award? No, right? That’s because they remember that time when you had one brandy Alexander too many and danced on the table … or that other time when while passing something around, you fainted dead away and had to be dragged to your tent by three big guys and a fork lift. These people love you, but they don’t give you awards. Intimacy precludes formal honors. Moreover, anyone who ever met my second husband or my first boyfriend could never find me inspiring. Perhaps if there were an award for it, I could be a cautionary tale, a warning to not do that!

Too much stuff

Mike sort of reminds me of me. That’s probably how come he has gotten a lot of awards from me and will get more. He doesn’t just write about movies. He writes about life. His life, and just any old life. He thinks about stuff. He’s had a hard time and I suspect that 2012 will never be marked in his mental landscape as “one of the great years.” Mike has managed to survived the worst life could throw at him and while he isn’t thrilled with it, he’s found ways to cope without whining and can apparently still laugh. Around here, that’s an achievement worthy of note. Somewhere, he got the message that life is neither fair nor easy. For anyone.

Inspiration comes to me from so many places, but oddly, the comments I write to Mike on his posts have, at least half a dozen times, morphed into posts of my own. He has a knack for saying stuff hovering on the edge of my consciousness that while I’m commenting to him, I realize is something I’ve been meaning to write.

Then, there are the books I read, the shows I see on the telly, current events, the weird stuff that happens at home to me and friends, and the way the light filters through the trees. The difference between something that gives me a migraine and something that inspires me can be razor-thin.

Doggy ChristmasBeing told that I’m an inspiration is an inspiration. It means someone still listens to me and I have not yet become completely irrelevant. The older one gets, the more the fear of irrelevancy stalks us. Not just me, but whole generations who were shakers and movers and now find themselves as designated “old people.” In our society, we don’t honor old people. We just shove them away and try to ignore them. Blogging lets me continue to be a part of the world and to still have a bit of impact on it. I’m not going to shake up the establishment, but I might just inform, inspire, awaken a few minds … or at least make someone who’s having a bad day, smile. That’s something.

All of you in my blogging community inspire me. I read your stories, poems and look at your pictures. You make me want to do more and be better. If I can do a little of the same for you, then I am glad.

I’m going to pass this honor to a few of the usual suspects, a couple of surprises … and suggest that any and all of you with whom I am regularly in contact, whose blogs I follow … any of you could equally well be recipients of this or one of the (I’m losing track) other awards I still need to deal with. Truly, if I hadn’t so recently received another of these so that I could take the post I wrote for it and redo it, I’m not sure I’d have been able to deal with this today. Christmas is near, my project deadline is breathing down my neck, my family has gone completely wacko and all I’m eating are homemade cookies which is unlikely to make me a more attractive or healthier person, but wow, they taste great.

Happy whatever you celebrate. Celebrate everything, why don’t you? Rejoice that you are alive, because you have a friend, a roof over your head, and maybe something to eat. Forget for a while all the problems and craziness because it won’t forget you … it’ll be there, waiting, when the party’s over. Love you all!!

The rules of this award are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Tell us at least seven things about yourself that you would like to share.
  • Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them. I am not going to set a specific number. I know how difficult it can be to keep coming up with dozens of new nominees and rather than burden you all with having to find in a single batch so many blogger, I will suggest that as you find worthy blogs you would like to honor, pass the honor to them, then let them pass the honor along as they find worthy recipients. No need to rush!
  • Notify your chosen bloggers of their nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about myself that I haven’t explicitly said before (at least not where anyone could hear me) are:

  1. My second husband was a moron. I have no idea why in the world I married him. I will never understand. It may have had something to do with drugs and sex.
  2. My favorite shows are reruns. M*A*S*H is the best.
  3. I have a back so bad and a spine so damaged there’s no medical name for it.
  4. I make killer chile.
  5. I’m still waiting for the mother ship to come and take me away ala Cocoon so I can be young again.
  6. My first IQ test showed me to be a genius of the highest order. I was 11 years old. It’s been all downhill since. Now, I’m lucky if I can remember my name.
  7. Before settling down to writing, I was going to be a pianist. Which is how I completed a full major in music before realizing that I’m not good enough to be a musician, at least not classical. But once upon a time, I was pretty good.

My nominees (the envelope please):

For my friends to whom I’ve already give several awards (you know who you are!) and who live in fear of getting another, you are doomed. If I missed you this time, trust me … I will get you on the next round. And if you like any of these awards, feel free to just take the award, pat yourself on the back, and pass it along. It really is all about sharing. Share and be glad!