We live in a nation of laws … even when it’s not easy or convenient.

Today I read a rant on Facebook by someone who still can’t accept the cruel reality that the election ended and his candidate lost. He declares that President Barack Obama is not his president, will never be his president. As if he gets to pick his own personal President, separate from the inconvenience of a legal election.

Flag

I feel obliged to point out that if you are an American citizen, the legally elected President of the United States is your President, whether you like him, voted for him — or not. If you are unhappy with the results of the election and you are a citizen of this nation, you have only two choices.

  1. Obey the laws of this country including accepting the duly elected President as your President and as your Commander-in-Chief.
  2. Abandon your identity as an American, renounce your citizenship, and move to another country if you can find one that will have you.

There is no other choice until 2016 and there’s no guarantee that you’ll like the results of that election any better than you liked this one. Until then, Barack Obama is your president, my president, and the President of every other citizen of this country. You do not have a choice. This is a nation of laws which we follow even when it’s not convenient or easy. That is the price you pay for living in a democracy.

You cannot claim to be a patriot while simultaneously rejecting our system of government. I have lived through presidencies of men I thoroughly disliked, for whom I didn’t vote, and who I thought were harming our nation and myself, but I never had the temerity– or disrespect — to declare that the President wasn’t my President.

I believe in our system of government, laws, and justice system. It’s not perfect, but it’s way better than most. I don’t make a big deal about it. I don’t wrap myself in the flag. I just follow the laws, try to work within the system to effect change. I vote. I don’t trust people who make a big fuss about how patriotic they are. The more noise they make, the more I wonder what they are hiding.

I’m fed up with self-declared patriots who are not merely unpatriotic, but actually treasonous. If you don’t like our system of government, go somewhere you like better, but don’t tell me you’re a patriot. You’re not.

Living up to myself …

To say that I’m not competitive is untrue. I don’t compete much with other people, but I am forever in competition with myself. Even when I play games, I tend to be unconcerned with whether I win or lose, much more interested in if I’ve beaten my own best score, or my highest word score (Scrabble addicts unite!). When I write, aside from the endless typos that are the bane of my life and which seem to fall out of my fingers like rain on a spring day, I’m always trying to write that perfect sentence, to clarify a thought, to come up with a new way of approaching an old subject.

Scrabble

Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes not. Even though I try, I do fail. Not everything achieves a level that I consider acceptable. I don’t believe “trying your best” is enough. Where I come from, trying is assumed, expected, and automatic. Of course you try: it’s succeeding that counts. I know I’m not alone in this. This is an attitude that crosses class, religious, and ethnic borders. If you come from that kind of family, nothing less than your best effort is acceptable. No one gives you pats on the back for doing what’s expected. Even success is measured by degrees. Passing is nothing to be proud of (except, for me, in anything involving numbers where I was grateful for a D).

I didn’t get a lot of applause for my efforts in school, probably because I didn’t try hard. School — aside from math — was easy. I could get Bs or As on almost anything with very little effort and I could bullshit my way out of most of my classes, making a tiny bit of knowledge sound like a lot more. Until the day I met one special professor who saw through me and changed everything. For the first time, my excellent writing was unable to mask my underlying ignorance. He gave me the only double grade I ever received: D/A+ … the D for content, the A+ for style. I loved him. He saw me — all of me — and no one else had ever done that, not family, friends, or teachers.

He forced me to dig in and do the research, to not graze across the top, but delve into important underlying concepts. When I had an epiphany and handed in a final paper that consisted of 30 pages of free verse, I got an A on that because, he said, I obviously had “got it.” It was education turned upside down for me and those lessons changed my world.

I have never since been satisfied by glossing over the surface without looking underneath. I turn over rocks to see what crawls out because if you just look at the rocks, you never see the snakes and scorpions. If you look at the covers and don’t read the books, you don’t really know anything and sometimes, even that’s not enough. Sometimes nothing is enough, but at the very least, I understand that I have to make that effort to see the whole thing, top and bottom.

Vines and a wall - Marilyn Armstrong

This is one of those non news days. I’m disinclined to talk about my personal woes. It’s easier to deal with concepts and abstractions, with ideas than all the stuff that accompanies getting older without necessarily becoming wiser. As someone said long ago, “Getting old is not for the faint of heart.”

So I’ll keep on keeping on, hoping to find things to talk about that are interesting to me and hopefully, to you. I don’t have a single focus. I can’t just do photography or movies or politics. I’ve always been interested in too many things. It’s a curse and a gift to see the world as a tapestry, connected by strands running every which way. Pull on one and others unravel, and you never know till you give it a tug, what will unravel. Beware of pulling loose strings. One tug and your sweater is just yarn.

The arts and science and politics and history and everything else are all one thing, all part of this big picture. Everything and everyone is connected, somehow. If only we could find those connections, perhaps we could start to fix things.

Have a great week!

Don’t forget to include a plot …

Last night, we watched To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – Restored Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray. I bought it a while ago and we’ve been planning to watch it, but we just hadn’t gotten around to it. Last night, we settled in and remembered why it’s such a great movie, such a wonderful story. It is close to the top of our favorite movie list for a bunch of reasons. The brilliant acting, the story. Gregory Peck in his defining role, a role he chose for himself because in many way, he was Atticus Finch.

This is one of those rare movies where the pieces fit, the story flows. It never hits a false note. It takes its time. It’s about justice and injustice, racism, the legal system. It’s also about family and love, relationships, coming of age and learning the world is a bigger, better and worse place than you imagined.

Front CoverCoincidentally, my granddaughter has been assigned by her high school’s freshman English teacher to read the book. She thinks it’s boring, and although I don’t agree with her, I understand that her world is very far removed from the world of Mockingbirdso far that she can’t relate to it. She’s coming into adulthood in a world where the President is black, where very white grandma is married to a brown man, her brother is engaged to a woman of color and moreover, no one thinks there’s anything odd about any of this.

She’s the generation in which everything has been instant. You don’t have to read to research. You just Google it. There’s no time for books that move slowly in a less hurried world. Harper Lee wrote about a world without cell phones or email. People walked as often as they drove, maybe more. Food grows as often in a garden, as a grocery. The world was segregated and sharply separated by class, religion, ethnicity. Compared to the world in Mockingbird, our sleepy little town is a metropolitan hub. KK cannot relate to that world and has no patience to discover it.

I understand why she feels the way she does, but I wish it were different.

At the same time, I’m involved in a project that requires I read 27 books that are considered among the best fiction of 2012. I’m not sure on what basis these choices are made, what the criteria are. The books are all fiction, but genres vary from historical mystery to science fiction, to feel-good Hallmark Channel romance. Most, however, are detailed descriptions of miserable people living wretched lives while treating each other badly. Out of 27 books, I have so far slogged my way through 20 of them. I’m becoming alarmed. If this is the best of American fiction, what’s the worst?

All the books in this group that would be considered “serious literature.” The stories don’t seem to contain any special meaning or any lessons. Nothing much happens except that everyone is unhappy and as the book goes on, they all become even unhappier.

The books are written well, if by “well” you mean good grammar and properly constructed sentences. They offer slices of lives we are glad we don’t live. They lack plots, action, or any reason I — or you — would want to read them. The authors appear to be trying to do what Harper Lee did … recreate a world, a time, a place. But Harper Lee also had a story to tell. Things happened, actual events occurred. There were bad people, but good people, too. The story includes ugliness, but also characters worthy of admiration. Atticus Finch is a great man, a fighter for truth and justice. The world is a better place because he is in it.to-kill-a-mockingbird2_9855

But these new authors don’t get it. They have forgotten a book is more than description. It needs to tell a story, to involve readers, to draw them in. If my granddaughter is finding To Kill A Mockingbird dull, it’s hard to imagine her enjoying any of these new books. They may describe a world she recognizes, but they are unlikely to lure her into wanting to partake of them.

It’s no wonder that the fastest growing segments of fiction are fantasy, mysteries, thrillers and so on. We have lost touch with the entertainment function of serious literature. If a book makes us think, teaches us, provides moral guidance, delves into serious issues, it should also make us laugh and cry, take us out of our ordinary lives. The magic of any good book is that it lets us become part of other lives and see the world through their eyes.

Call me old-fashioned, but I have my standards. I don’t read books that don’t meet them.

First and foremost, I want a story. I want a plot I can follow and I want something to happen. I don’t want to just hear what people are thinking. I want them to also do something. I want to meet characters who develop and grow. I can cope with bad guys, but I need heroes too. I am glad to learn, I’m glad to be enlightened, but I also want to be absorbed and entertained. Otherwise, it isn’t a novel: it’s a textbook or maybe a sermon.

I bet there are great authors out there writing terrific books who can’t get them published. For anyone who has tried to get a book published … or even read … you know what a battle it is. Manuscripts are submitted electronically and screened  by software looking for keywords. If you can’t write a proposal containing the right words, your manuscript will never be read by a human being. Using software to judge literature is probably why so many of these books are so dreadful. Human beings should judge literature, not computers. Computers don’t read books. People read books.

Faulkner, Wolfe, Hemingway … or for that matter, Harper Lee … none of them would get their books read much less published today. Unless we want all our literature to consist of science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and mysteries — if we want any other kind of literature worth reading — it’s time to take a few chances and publish books that people will enjoy. I love science fiction and fantasy, but I grew up reading all kinds of books. I miss books that take place on this planet, in this world, in my lifetime and don’t necessarily involve magic, time travel, cops, serial killers, courts, vampires, or terrorists. Surely there are stories about our world worth publishing.

Publish more interesting books and I bet we’ll have more interested readers.

30,000 hits … Go figure.

It seemed appropriate — what with getting all these awards during the last few days — that this is the week I hit another landmark. On November 9th, I passed 20,000 hits and today, exactly 3 weeks later, I hit

30,000

From February 2012, through the end of September, I gathered 10,000 hits. It took me a slightly more than a month to get the next 10,000. On November 9, I was at 20, 783.

At 11:38 pm — right now — I am at 30,044, which is just about 10,000 hits in three crammed weeks.

When there’s a lot of stuff going on, people come looking for more than information. We all want explanations, validation, confirmation that what we believe is right or what we disbelieve is wrong. Those of us who put ourselves out there gain a certain amount of popularity, maybe notoriety or at least a degree of attention in return for fending off a lot of flak for having expressed opinions with which others do not agree. I try to back my opinion with facts, at least as far as I am can establish whatever facts exist. In the end though, facts are slippery as eels, subject to innumerable interpretations. Statistics are easily twisted to support virtually any position. Numbers are neutral, but what we do with them is not.

November 2012 was a newscaster and blogger’s dream. The richness of the available subject matter for a writer was unlimited.  It gave me a lot of room to stretch my writer’s wings, to try writing about things that would normally not fall in my purview.

The dreams of writers and reporters inevitably are built on events that are someone else’s nightmare. Sometime since the advent of electronic media has come to dominate the news industry, news no longer means information about current events … what’s happening. It used to be that news might be good or bad. News was merely “new.” It was the newness that counted, not any predetermined content.

It’s different now. Today, all news is bad news. “If it bleeds, it leads” is the unofficial motto of newsrooms around the nation and probably the globe. Violence and death draws an audience. If a story has a happy ending, it’s likely relegated to feature status or considered “not newsworthy” and thus completely ignored.

Lacking fresh disasters, the next hot ticket in the news biz are scandals, financial crises, sports, weather, and anything happening to a celebrity. These days, we have celebrities who are famous for being famous. They’ve never done anything noteworthy. They don’t act, sing, play an instrument or invent things. They aren’t politicians or scientists. They are nobodies. I hope I am never desperate enough to write about any of them. Since I have pretty much no idea of who is currently famous, I’m unlikely to write about them. Most of the time, guests on talk shows are strangers to me. I can’t tell one from another. Neither can my husband. If you are looking for the latest gossip, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. I have neither information nor opinions on the subject.

Election day 2012I plead guilty to enjoying lively discussion and controversy, though I require civility however much we disagree. I figure we should be able maintain the same level of manners in public disputation that we would demand of a 5-year-old. That has turned out to be an unreasonably high expectation when issues of national importance were under discussion. No kindergarten teacher would allow such appalling behavior from her charges, but we not only tolerate, but actually encourage worse behavior from public figures.

As angry as I have been about policies and issues, I have been far more upset by the bad behavior of public figures, many with advanced degrees slinging mud, calling names, and clearly trying to incite violence. There ought to be limits, there ought to be a level below which we will not sink. Watching “Lincoln” yesterday reminded me how uncivil our public behavior has been over the years. The difference between then and now is the presence of electronic media that allows everyone to immediately see — in real-time — how ill-mannered we really are. It used to be a dirty little secret; now it’s an international embarrassment.

The sheer energy generated by so many major events occurring at the same time helped me gain an audience at a faster rate than I could have done had there not been so many important events occurring. There was Sandy, the giant storm. A storms is inherently uncivil. Storms have an excuse. They have no brain cells, just mighty wind, rain or snow … so a storm has an excuse for mindlessness, but what excuse can there be for people like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck?  Perhaps they too lack brain cells. But more likely, they simply like a conscience and the level of manners required of a pre-schooler.

I get a reasonable number of regular visitors these days. I’m not exactly viral but I have an acceptable following. The number of visitors rises and falls according to some invisible tide over which I have nominal control . When Serendipity’s visitor count first popped up from 70 or 80 on a good day to over a thousand, I figured it was a fluke and would fizzle. As I expected, the visitor count has leveled off, but apparently people who initially dropped by for a particular post continued to return for other things. I am more inclined to trust the new, steadier numbers I get now than the wild up and downs surges of early and mid November.Here, Griffin!

It’s harder to find relevant, exciting content when there are no super exciting events in progress, but I try to stay relevant, try to find interesting subjects. Maybe make a few people laugh or at least smile. I like offering historical background for whatever is going on, the rest of the story we didn’t get in elementary school. Understanding the world is easier if you have the perspective of history. Context counts.

Thanks for reading, thanks for being my friends and making me feel that I’m still a real live part of the living world.  Let’s all hope that this year is going to be a better one than last year. Maybe less full of news, but more full of joy!

“VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” – An honor and a privilege …

Very Inspiring Blogger award

First of all, thank you to Bette Stevens of  4WRITERSANDREADERS who has honored me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

This means a lot to me. As I go about my daily life, paying bills, figuring out how we’re going to get through another month that contains more bills than money, as I watch my family struggle and grope toward solutions … and nobody is the interested in anything I might have to say on the matter … I ponder how the people who know us best are the most likely to ignore us.

Not like this is unusual or rare. It probably wasn’t a new concept when it found its way into the gospels.

Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown: John 4:44. 

I guess it’s not especially surprising if we are taken more seriously by virtual strangers than we are at home, in the bosom of our family. Or at least in the bosom of mine.

It is the great gift of blogging that we can give our best to anyone willing to read our posts. In the semi-anonymity of our cyber lives, we offer everyone the things we love, the things that excite and fascinate us … as well as what we’ve learned, knowledge painfully learned … and hope someone will benefit. I’m sure I’m not the only one who began blogging as a way of sharing with a larger community. Maybe someone can benefit from our mistakes and avoid the missteps that have cost us dearly. Perhaps we’ll make someone laugh, open a window on something beautiful, inspire someone to read a book, take a picture, watch a movie or just think about something they’d otherwise never consider. A single idea, an unexpected image or concept can change a life and a changed life can change the world. We hope. And so, we share.

Inspiration is strange, unpredictable. A book I’m reading, a TV show, blogs, current events, sunlight filtering through leaves, watching snowflakes drift by my window, knowing my car is stuck at the bottom of the driveway until the snow melts. Being grateful we shopped yesterday and didn’t put it off another day. Glad I have a computer and a high-speed connection so I can remain part of the world when just a few decades ago, our age and my disabilities would have condemned me to isolation.

Being told that I’m an inspiration is an inspiration. It means someone hears me. I’m infinitely grateful. It’s a validation and a reward. We all need that, at least sometimes. It keeps us going when so often if feels like we are shouting into an empty space.Guy Williams as Zorro

All of you in my blogging community inspire me. I read your stories. Your pictures make me think about new ways to capture my world. I marvel at the complex lives we’ve lives, the obstacles we overcome, the problems we deal with every day, how strong we are and how amazing it is that we find reasons to rejoice despite hard times and harder choices.

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 the requirement to find in a single batch quite so many bloggers to whom you have not already passed on a variety of awards, I will suggest that as you find worthy blogs that you would like to honor, that you pass the honor to them and allow them to also pass the honor along as they find honor worthy recipients.
  • Notify your chosen bloggers of their nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about myself are:

  1. I am a born researcher. If something catches my interest, I will keep digging at it until I feel I’ve learned everything I can about it, whether it’s breeds of dogs, building tepees, or medieval history.
  2. My hair started to turn gray when I was 20 and was almost completely great by the time I was 30.
  3. I’ve always had a lot of dogs, cats, ferrets, parrots and occasionally even stranger critters in my world, but love them though I do, I never got to own a horse.
  4. I have a “thing” for masked men and had a massive crush on Zorro when I was a teenage girl.
  5. When I gave up on Zorro, I fell even more passionately in love with Marlon Brando.
    Marlon Brando in a screenshot from the trailer...
  6. My first car was a 1977 Ford Pinto in British Racing Green. I thought it was very hot.
  7. I used to be able to recite the entire family tree of the British Royal Family from Willy the Conqueror to Queen Liz II.  I thought it was quite an achievement, but no one was impressed but me.

My nominees (the envelope please):

Chiquero: Nothing But An Induced Epidemic

A barbaric YAWP across the Web:  A tale of life, love and laughter; sometimes poignant, sometimes funny but always meaningful.

THE WORD ON THE .NET ~ Writer T. James’ Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Sunday Night Blog:  A WordPress.com site by Rich Paschall

Cowbelly Pet Photography: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Woofs

Top Secret Writers

I know a couple of you are repeat awardees. It is not my fault that I like your stuff. If you would stop inspiring me, writing so well that I feel obliged to improve my work, making me think, laugh, and want to take better pictures, I’d stop giving you awards.

For my friends to whom I’ve already give several awards (you know who you are!) and who live in fear of getting another, well, you will be hearing from me. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you. Just because I skipped you this time doesn’t mean I’m not gonna getcha on the next wave! I’ve got a lot of awards to pass along, so you all know who you are. Start collecting nominees … you will need them!

“Lincoln” is amazing on so many levels.

Lincoln movieIt’s exactly what you hope for in a historical movie … and so very rarely get. Spielberg not only made this wonderful movie well, he made it smart. Instead of trying to cover the entire Lincoln saga or perhaps myth, he focuses on the President’s last months on earth, the period following his reelection during which he pushed through the 13th amendment that finally eliminated slavery in the United States, and ended the war. You will see more about the man Lincoln than in any previous movie or documentary about Lincoln.

The performances are universally brilliant, as you would expect. This is the Hollywood A Team where the magic comes together. Everyone is in this movie — some not even credited but you will recognize them — even if only for a tiny cameo, as if being part of this movie was an honor.

And perhaps so.  I suspect actors volunteered for the privilege of being included. The script is intelligent, elegant, somehow managing to convey both the greatness of the man and his pained humanity. There is no reason for me to go into the details of the cast, writing, history, and so on. The  review published in the New Yorker covers those bases well and you can read it here or on its original site.

“Lincoln,” was written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, and derived in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals.”

Daniel Day-Lewis has gotten the role of a lifetime and gave a performance that will probably define his career. Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader and so many others … literally too many to name … are all brilliant. There are not many big roles for women in this story, but I’d like to make a special mention of Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Her performance as First Lady gives this suffering woman the first real depth and three-dimensional portrayal I’ve ever seen. Mrs. Lincoln has in cinema and history been given short shrift, labeled a crazy lady, then dismissed.

That she was not quite “right” after the loss of her son is well-documented and disseminated, but she was more than a mere wacko. She was politically savvy and highly intelligent, albeit emotionally unstable and in great pain. Perhaps a more stable, supportive mate would have been able to provide some rays of light in the dark world of President Lincoln … but given the dreadful times through which they lived and were destined to play major and tragic roles, this couple was probably doomed to misery, even had Mary Todd been the incarnation of Pollyanna.

Cover of "Team of Rivals: The Political G...
Cover via Amazon

The enormity of their personal tragedies combined with the responsibility of being the nation’s leader at this particularly desperate historical turning point would have crushed anyone. Lincoln was a giant, but also a man with a wife, children and more than his share of family drama.

The movie is mesmerizing. The way it’s shot, moving from panorama to private moments keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even though the outcome is a foregone conclusion, you live through the battles on the floor of the House of Representatives and in the back rooms where agonizing bargains are struck as if you’ve never seen it before. It’s a painfully accurate and timely look at the real process of getting legislation passed, the viciousness, ruthlessness, chicanery and all else that goes into a process that hasn’t significantly changed over the past 150 years or more. Great cinema and a Real Politik civics lesson for young and old.

Most of the reviews I’ve read have emphasized the historical importance but failed to mention that this is a really compelling movie that makes you feel you have traveled back in time. It’s great drama with more than a dollop of wit and humor. Watch and chew your nails while Lincoln and his carefully picked team somehow push through an amendment to the constitution against staggering odds while simultaneously ending the deadliest war in American history.  It feels like you’ve never heard or seen it before. Spielberg manages to inject a level of tension and excitement that should be impossible. There are surprises, some of them very funny.

Given the subject matter, it’s amazing how often film will make you laugh. There are wonderful scenes, small and intimate, revealing of magic and myth. There are the mandatory “big scenes,” of  battlefields heaped with corpses, but most of the story takes places in small places, in sheds and basements, back rooms, parlors and hidden corners where the light is always dim. Everyone always looks cold … in the most literal sense. It’s winter without central heating and while no one mentions it (why would they? that was the way their world was), men and women alike constantly wrap themselves in blankets and shawls to fend off the chill. It makes you grateful for electricity and radiators, not to mention thermal underwear.

abraham-lincoln-tadLincoln is too tall for the world in which he lives. It can barely contain him or the sorrow he carries. He stoops, bent under the weight of impossible choices and ducks through doorways never high enough.

Go see this movie. Take your kids. Take the grandchildren. Then buy it on DVD and watch it again. Let it remind you of how painful it is to have a free nation and how heavy is the price we pay for the privilege.

This is grand entertainment, history, civics and drama wrapped in a story so insane it could only be true. To quote a familiar phrase, “you can’t make this stuff up.” You rarely get to see movies this good. It’s a treasure that will be even more appreciated in years to come.

Regardless of how many Oscars it wins … or doesn’t win … this is destined to be a classic. It can’t help it. It’s just got classic written all over it.

One more interesting note. When the movie ended and the credits started to roll, no one got up and left. No one at all. Every single person in the theater sat there and watched the credits until the screen went dark. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that happen before.

♦ See more on www.newyorker.com

Sisterhood is powerful! Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

I could not resist the opportunity to join the Sisterhood of World Bloggers. It’s not for the award, though awards are nice. It’s for the pleasure of sisterhood, something in which I believe with my whole heart. Throughout my life, my greatest supports and warmest relationships … and my most long-lasting relationships … have been with women.

Women have supported me, encouraged me, consoled me, and protected me. They have commiserated and rejoiced with me during the best and worst of times. I would be honored to be part of such a group. I am, not surprisingly, hoping to link up through my fine friend Sharla Shults at CatnipOfLife … a woman who deserves all the honors she gets and more.

There are rules for this award which are basically the same as for most any blog award received. The last part, deciding on recipients for this award, is exceptionally difficult. How does one choose from all those who have visited and provided support for catnipoflife? To me, you are all my ‘sisters’ (of course, there are ‘brothers’ too but their honor will need to come in a different form). For a sisterhood, why should some be selected while others are left out? Since there is no other criteria for selection other than choice and even though this is not exactly the intention of the rules, it is the decision of catnipoflife:

All of my ‘Sisters’ are Welcome to the
Sisterhood of the World Bloggers!

Acceptance is contingent upon the following:

  1. Leave a comment that you would like to be a member of the Sisterhood.
  2. Grab the badge for posting to your blog, thank whoever gave you this award and provide a link to her blogsite.
  3. Answer the following 10 questions in your blog posting.
  4. Nominate and provide the links to 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read OR follow the same procedure as Catnip and I have used. [If you choose to bestow the award on special sisters, be sure to kindly let the recipients know they have been invited into the sisterhood.]
  5. Return here as soon as your posting is complete to provide a link to your blogsite. Those links will be added to this posting as comments of completion are received.

Here are the 10 Questions

  1. What is your favorite colour? Red
  2. What is your favorite animal? Dogs but I could as easily say horses, cats, tigers, lions, or ferrets … If it’s furry and four-footed, I love it!
  3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee!!
  4. Facebook or Twitter? Neither. Can you email me at fivedawgz@gmail.com?
  5. What is your favorite pattern? Black Watch Tartan
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? Giving unless it’s something really cool 🙂
  7. What is your favorite number? 18, which in Hebrew means ” Chai” or life.
  8. What is your favorite day of the week? Wednesday because that’s the day the social security checks come in.
  9. What is your favorite flower? Lilacs
  10. What is your passion? Reading, writing, and photography … and learning. Because learning is living and when you stop learning, you stop really being alive. Thus I have always been.
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