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


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


Favourite number?


Favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Mr. Coffee

My passion?

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



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.


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


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

– – –

Best Moment Award

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!


Mikes Film Talk


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 post 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


Films and Things

My Favorite Westerns

My Beautiful Things

With a Friend Like Gary


Sunday Night Blog


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.


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:  





Head In A Vice

Emily Guido

Rich Paschall


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.

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