Posted in Uncategorized

Give me a T!

Wonderful Team Member Award
Wonderful Team Member Award

You know that old acronym – TEAM?

Together Everyone Achieves More.  It’s true.  It not only applies to the business world but to volunteer organizations as well. 

When we work together as a team, accomplishments happen.  Ideas and dreams become realities.  Working in tandem with others also lightens the load. 

And I think all of that definitely applies here in the blogging world.

Yes, you can be a solo blogger in your own little world.  You may be the type of writer who bleeds out your fears, thoughts, life trials, and sometimes your innermost thoughts and you do it just for yourself.  You don’t want interaction with other bloggers and you don’t care if you have readers or not.

But I suspect most of us are really TEAM bloggers.  Yes, we often write transparently and put our thoughts ‘out there’ in the wide internet world for all to see.  But we cherish our readers and those who take the time to leave a comment whether it’s just a simple “I like this” or a paragraph or two of encouragement.  And that floats our boats and makes us feel like we’re all in this together.

We are a team.  We form communities of writing friends because something strikes a chord in us when we interact with them.  We feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.  It reminds me of a quote by A.A. Milne who wrote the Winnie the Pooh books:  “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”  

And when you ‘go’ to other bloggers, you find your place on a team making you feel like you’re one of the vital elements of the squad.   Call it a team, a crew, a group, a club, a posse…whatever you call it, you’re a part of it!

Quite a while ago, one of my blogging friends – yes, my teammate – bestowed the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award upon Mama’s Empty Nest.  And in all the busyness that has been going on, I almost neglected to acknowledge this honor.

I’m tickled to have Dor at Virginia Views on my crew.  Not only does her witty writing in her blog delight me  with funny stories, observations, and her photographs, but she also sends me the most encouraging comments.  She’s like the enthusiastic cheerleader that you definitely want on your squad rooting for you!  So I thank her, first for being my wonderful friend, and secondly for the award.

This award is simple.  You don’t have to answer questions.  You don’t even have to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time!  All you have to do is acknowledge your team – fellow bloggers who you truly appreciate.

Here are the rules:

  1. The Nominee shall display the logo on his/her blog.
  2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little.
  3. The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during 7 days.

Now some of my favorite bloggers aren’t into these awards, so as their teammate, I’m not expecting or pressuring them to participate.  I simply want them to know how very much I do value their friendships.

So here goes.  Give me a P! Because I am proud, privileged, and pleased to pass the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award to these people:

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  ~ Helen Keller

Give me a T!  E!  A!  M!  What’s it spell? TEAM!  Go Team!

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in family

Orange you glad you’re family?

wordpress-family-award-1Welcome to my orange.

“If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct.”  ~Letty Cottin Pogrebin

I always assumed my family was a little fruity, so the quote above gives credence to that. 

If you are a regular reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you will notice that I write often about family – my circle of orange sections – and how much it means to me. 

I really have two families.  First is my actual family – my husband, adult children and their spouses, and sisters and their respective families.  Then there is my church family which includes folks who have known me my entire life.

I just recently realized that I have another family though.  My WordPress Family.  Oh, they’re spread out all over the country and I’ve only met them through blogging, but they feel like family to me because we have a connection with each other.  We share ideas, encouragement, comments, pictures, and thoughts.  And isn’t that what a family does?

“Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.” ~ Barbara Bush

One of my blogging family connections is Dor from Virginia Views.  That gal is witty and she makes me laugh – out loud!  She and I have been swapping stories and commonalities for quite some time now and even though we’ve never met in person, I consider her an important segment in my orange writing and reading circle.

Not too long ago, Dor bestowed a blogging award honor on me and my humble little blog.  Maybe it’s just the title that struck a chord with me or maybe it’s the description of the award, but this one seems most special.

It’s called the WordPress Family Award and here’s how Dor depicted it: “The WordPress Family Award is reserved for folks in Cyberspace who are unceasingly kind, sympathetic, encouraging, and open to laughter – and who keep each other going by sharing, commenting, and making personal connections even though they may actually be virtual strangers.”

This world is chock full of strangers and albeit, some of them are very strange.  I find it somehow comforting to find like-minded writers out there who share some kind of bond with me even though we’ve not met.

“The family is a haven in a heartless world.”  ~Attributed to Christopher Lasch

To me, this world is a very heartless place sometimes, which is why I do believe one’s family is a haven.  And that’s why I enjoy my blogging family as well.  They provide a safe harbor for me while I float out there in the wide world of words.

I gratefully accept this award and thank Dor so much for naming me. 

The WordPress Family Award Rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.  (My blogging buddy Dor is a vital member of my orange  blogging family!  You can visit her at Virginia Views.)
  3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family. (The following 10 bloggers have been like family to me.  Most of them do not participate in these awards, and some of them do not post as often as they used to, but they’ve been my writing family from early on in my blogging world.  They’ve encouraged me through their friendships,  comments and even emails and they’re all very special to me.  But my family is growing and there are so many other blogs I enjoy reading and I’m getting to know some of those writers as well.  So please don’t feel like the black sheep of the family if you are not included in this list! )
  1. Let your 10 WordPress Family members know you have awarded them.

And now, on this best day of the year, I have this sudden hankering for a nice juicy orange and I’m pretty certain I’ll savor each segment. 

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized

A moment in time

Best Moment AwardIt’s my busy season at work.  I tend to get stretched a little too far and wound a little too tight this time of year as I maneuver my way into the hope of rest and relaxation in the upcoming summer months.

So I find myself looking ahead much like this quote attributed to cartoonist Bill Watterson, the guy who draws the lovable Calvin & Hobbes comic strip:  “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” 

I suppose taking the time to enjoy where we are could be called living in the best moment.  Well, one of those best moments happened along my way recently. 

Even though I’ve been a little derelict in blogging lately because of time restraints, I’ve managed to attract some new readers.  And if you’re one of those delightful people who clicked the follow button, thank you for joining me and my world here at Mama’s Empty Nest.  I hope you find something worthwhile to read, enjoy, or maybe even inspire you here – maybe even your own little moment in time.

One of those new readers is  A Blessed Pilgrim, at His Eye Is On the Sparrow.   I haven’t had a tremendous amount of time to spend perusing  her posts, but what I have read makes me desirous for more.  Her blog title and tag line – “Because without Him, I’m challenged! Finding hope in hopelessness” – touches my heart.

On one of my harried days in the middle of a hectic week, I quickly logged into my blog to find some new comments waiting for my approval.  One of them was from Blessed Pilgrim alerting me that she had nominated my blog for not just one but two awards – the “Best Moment Award” and the “Liebster Blog Award.”

Now I know not everyone appreciates these awards, but when a reader takes the time to notice my blog and give me this gift of letting others know about me, I want to thank that person and show my appreciation.  I’ve received the Liebster award previously, so I’m going to pass on it, except to thank Blessed Pilgrim for sending it my way again. 

The Best Moment Award caught my eye because I haven’t seen it before.  So I clicked on Blessed Pilgrim’s blog post in order to read more about this honor.  As I read her words, they brightened my day. 

Here’s what she wrote:  “Blogger awards are a good kind of chain letter.  They are to bless the nominated blogger who gets them, and bless those they recommend.  Unlike chain letters, there is no evil curse at the end if one doesn’t follow through.  Thank heavens; there is enough bad stuff out there.  They are kind of like the Halloween Trick-or-Treat without the Trick.” 

I liked that!  Of course, I’m all about treats!

So please, go visit Blessed Pilgrim’s blog and indulge me as I follow the rules for the Best Moment Award: 1)Placing the award on your blog (lined up on my Awards Page); 2)Answer a few questions (giving you some insight into what makes me tick); and 3)Nominate some of your favorite bloggers (there are so many, so please don’t feel slighted if I missed you).

Best Moment Award Questions:

Who inspires you?  I’d say first of all, the Lord God inspires me.  Everywhere I look, I see His handiwork…in nature, in people, in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches I experience.  How could all of those things created by Him not inspire me?  Next, I would say so many of my fellow bloggers inspire me with their words, their pictures, their thoughts, and their encouragement.

What is the hardest part about blogging, if any? For me, it’s finding enough time to develop all of the many, many ideas zooming around in my brain and jotted down in my notebook.

What is your favorite quote? Oh my, that’s difficult since I am a keeper of quotes.  I love so many, but I’m going to go with a simple one.  “Just keep swimming.” ~ by Dory the Fish in Finding Nemo (Surprised you with that one, huh?)

What is your favorite dessert?  I love chocolate but when it comes to having an evening dessert, chocolate keeps me awake at night! So my favorite dessert is a really good lemon meringue pie or maybe key lime. Yum.

What skill do you wish you had taken the time to learn when you were growing up? Learning how to cook and bake like my mother.  I still haven’t managed to make a good pie crust like she did. 

What is the one activity you wish you had the time to pursue? Photography.  I love taking photos especially with my new camera and if I had a little more free time, I’d read my camera’s instruction book cover to cover to really understand all of its features and maybe even take a photography class.  Ah, maybe I can carve out some time this summer for this pursuit.

If money was no issue, where would you like to travel? I’d do a grand tour of Europe with extra time spent in England where a great many of my ancestors came from.  And then I think I’d journey to Australia.

What is your favorite holiday? Hands down, it’s Christmas.  I love every single thing about it. The decorating, the food, the greetings, the gifting, the music, and most of all, the remembrance of the greatest gift ever given to mankind.

What is your favorite pastime?  I work crossword puzzles almost every day.  I find it helps my memory and keeps my mind sharper, plus I’m compulsive enough to want to finish each one completely.

What book are you currently reading? I’m continually reading my Bible.  I’m also in the middle of a couple books about God’s grace.  And to throw a different flavor into the mix, I like to go back and re-read some classics.  Right now, it’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Do you play a musical instrument?   As a young girl, I took piano lessons for several years, so I can play that instrument.  Am I good at it?  Well, let’s just say I enjoy my own little concerts by myself in my living room.

And now…drum roll please…these are my nominations for the Best Moment Award.  These bloggers always provide amazing fodder for my eyes either to read or see through their photographs. (Click on their blog names to visit them!)

Montana Outdoors 

These Days of Mine 

Living in Graceland  

Georgette Sullins Blog 

Virginia Views 

The two bloggers I’ve listed below don’t even know that I exist.  They are well-known and have thousands of followers and I am just one of them.  But I love what they write, and have found some best moments reading their blogs, and maybe you will too.

Ann Voskamp’s  A Holy Experience 

Angie Smith’s Bring the Rain 

On this best day of the year, whether you’re a blogger or just a blog reader, I hope you find some inspiration to live in your best moment.

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Danke, my liebster

When you take a hiatus from blogging, you worry a bit.

You worry that your readers will forget about your blog.  You worry that you disappoint those faithful readers that do remain in your blogging circle when there’s nothing new for them to read.

And you worry that when you do return to the blogging world, no one will want to read what you write.

Being overwhelmed by the wedding world these last few months, I’ve taken a few breaks from blogging.  It was necessary to try to retain my sanity while preparing for all three of my adult children’s weddings.

But each time I returned, there you were – my faithful readers, my friends who proved they weren’t just fair-weather friends.  And you, my dear ones, are liebster.

Liebster (pronounced: leeb-stir) is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

How do I know this?  I learned it straight from my blogging buddy Dor at Virginia Views.  She recently was awarded The Liebster Blog Award and most graciously passed the torch to Mama’s Empty Nest.  Dor is definitely liebster.

According to Dor, this award “recognizes up and coming bloggers and winners are asked to ‘pay it back and forward.’  The award is given to those bloggers who have less than 200 followers.”

The Rules for the Liebster Award are as follows: 

  • Link back to the blogger who gave you this award.
  • Post the award to your blog.
  • Post 11 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions asked of you, plus create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate 11 people you think deserve the award and link them to your post.
  • Go to their pages and tell them they have been chosen.

Linking back to my friend Dor’s blog is easy to do and I’m pleased to recommend her blog to all my friends and readers.   Posting the award on my blog – also easy.  There it is, positioned in this post, and taking up a little space on my awards page.

Now comes the not so easy thing.

Post 11 things about yourself.   Well, here goes!

1)     Unless you know me personally, this may come as a surprise to you because since I began blogging, I’ve kept anonymous.   To some, I’m only known as Mama or MEN (Mama’s Empty Nest).  But my real name is Cindy.

2)    I’ve been married to the most wonderful but sometimes wacky man for 35 years.  And unless I was a child bride, which I wasn’t, that tells you I am definitely middle-aged, or as I like to call it, on the down slide to 60.

3)    I’m not crazy about dogs.  The feeling is not mutual, however.  They appear to love me.

4)    I am fanatical about ice cubes.  I must have ice in any cold drink, whether it is sweet tea, unsweetened tea, soda (or as we call it here – pop), or just plain water.  Must. Have. Ice.

5)    I love sleeping in a cold bedroom.  In the dead of winter when it’s freezing outside, snow on the ground, cold wind blowing, you may drive past my house at night and you’ll notice that my bedroom window is open a tad.  This habit evolved because of those dratted menopausal symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats years ago, but now both hubby and I prefer a cold bedroom since we sleep better at cooler temperatures.  Brrr…in a good way!

6)    I drive an all-wheel drive vehicle for one purpose – to make it out of my uphill driveway every winter.  When it snows here at Mama’s Empty Nest, it blows and drifts and makes my driveway a challenge.  Plus, I love my Freddy Forester (the name I dubbed my trusty SUV).

7)    This is the seventh item in my list of things about me, so it seems fitting to relate that this is my seventh year of living cancer-free, for which I am so very thankful.

8)    I like the number 8.  I don’t really know why, I just do.  If I were an ice skater, I’d skate figure eights a lot.

9)    I just don’t understand why everyone wants to read on Kindle.  Really, reading on a screen is not nearly as relaxing as cozying up with a real, honest-to-goodness paper and binding book, turning real pages that I can feel in my hands, and locating a real bookmark to keep my place.  And browsing libraries and book stores is soothing to me.  Firing up a hand-held electronic device just doesn’t create the same feeling, virtually.  Call me a dinosaur.  I can take it.

10)  This item seems like a dichotomy, but it’s true.  I like lots of open space in a house; closed-in spaces make me feel claustrophobic.  But wide open spaces like the prairie in the central part of our country almost frighten me.  Go figure.

11) I’m happy and relieved to report that I survived this year – our “Year of the Weddings” in which all three of our adult children married.  It was stressful and most joyful all at the same time and I believe I’m still someone sane from the experience.  I know I am thrilled beyond measure to add three more wonderful people to our family!  For those of you who want to see photos from the last wedding held just a couple of weeks ago, hang on.  They’re coming soon, I promise.

Here are the 11 questions Dor chose for us lucky award recipients:

1)    If you could go anywhere in the world and stay for a month, where would you choose to go? My first thought was a nice, warm, sunny beach somewhere, but then I thought, “Nah….I’d get weary of just lounging on a beach for an entire month.”  So where would I spend a month anywhere in the whole wide world?  I think I’d go to the country of my ancestors – merry old England.  And even though it probably wouldn’t be warm or sunny, I’d explore the old country as much as I possibly could and imagine my ancestors living there.

2)    What is your hobby?  Besides blogging, I love to take photographs, but I’m really such an amateur.  I’m an avid crossword puzzle solver.  I’m a reader when I have time and I used to enjoy crafts.

3)  What was your childhood dream?  Don’t laugh.  My fondest childhood dream was an aspiration to be famous.  I decided early on in my life that I was either going to be a famous actress or a famous writer.  Unfortunately, I am neither.

4)    What was the best gift you ever received? Just recently, I received a gift that left me speechless.  But I’m going to leave you in suspense over that one because I plan to write a post about it very soon.  Stay tuned!

5)    What is your favorite movie?  That is hard to narrow down because I like a lot of movies.  Many of my favorite movies are old ones like It’s a Wonderful Life and The Thin Man.

6)    Who is the person who inspired you the most?  I’d have to say there were two people – my parents.  My mom battled cancer for less than a year before she succumbed.  She battled bravely without complaining, without regrets, without feeling sorry for herself.  Instead she chose to be grateful for the life she had been given and the blessings that surrounded her.  I hope I am half the person she is.  My dad also inspired me as he was the most kind, gracious, well-liked and respected man.  He also never said anything harsh or unpleasant about anyone.  I’d like to follow in his footsteps and be a chip off the old block, but I have to keep working on that.

7)    What is your favorite dessert?  Anything chocolate, except when eaten after 7 p.m. when the caffeine in the chocolate keeps me up all night.

8)    What is your favorite quote? Oh, that’s difficult because I am an ardent collector of quotes.  I love quotes and keep them in a notebook.  I could choose a poignant quote, a philosophical one, even a scripture from God’s Word could qualify as a favorite.  But I may surprise a few people with this quote that I think says it all:   “Just keep swimming.” ~ Dory in Finding Nemo

9)    What do you do for relaxation? I sit.  Honestly, that’s what I do to relax.  I sit and I’m quiet and I de-stress.

10) What is your favorite remembered scent/smell from childhood?  The clean, fresh scent of soap.  It reminds me of my mother.

11) If you could be a character in a book, who would you choose to be?  Hands down, Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  No matter how many times I read that book, I always find myself admiring this character.

Now it’s my turn to pass the Liebster on to my list of 11 must-read bloggers, although I don’t know if my honorees have less than 200 followers or not.  I only know that I follow them and they are dear friends of mine.

They are my go-to list, but I want to tell my new followers that I just haven’t had time to check out your blogs yet.  I have a lengthy list of new folks to read about and I’m hoping to do just that soon after the holidays are over and the long winter sets in.

  1. Homestead Ramblings
  2. These Days of Mine
  3. Georgette Sullins Blog
  4. Living in Graceland 
  5. Montana Outdoors
  6. Big Happy Nothing  
  7. Writing For Daisies 
  8. Believe Anyway
  9. Nikole Hahn’s Journal
  10. Saturday Evening Porch 
  11. Laura’s Blog

Some of my faves don’t really get into these awards that much, and that’s just fine.  Whatever floats my boat may sink yours, so I won’t be offended if you choose not to respond to the Liebster Award and its rules.

But if you are feeling whimsical and want to answer my 11 questions, here they are:

1)    If you made a bucket list, what would be the number one item on that list?

2)    What is your favorite holiday?

3)    How did you decide on the name of your blog?

4)    What is one of your most beloved family traditions?

5)    What is your all-time favorite thing in the world to eat?

6)    Where have you traveled that is the farthest away from your home?

7)    Which is better – television, movies, or book?

8)    If you celebrate Christmas, when do you open gifts, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

9)    If you own a Kindle, why do you like it? If you don’t, why not?

10)  It’s almost Thanksgiving, for what are you most thankful?

11)  Have you ever met one of your blogging buddies in person?  What was the experience like?

I’m grateful for my readers and my blogging buddies, for my oldest and dearest friends and my new, endearing ones, for the opportunity to be honored and the chance to honor someone else.

Danke schön, mein liebster lesern.

(Thank you very much, my dearest readers.  Not sure I got that German correct, but I tried!)

©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in writing

Might as well face it

pexels-photo-269141.jpeg“Fanaticism for anything is addiction.”  ~ Unknown

Back in the ‘80s, Robert Palmer released the song, “Addicted to Love.”  I’m fairly certain it was that decade, but my recollection of the 80’s is kind of dim.

You see I was addicted back then.  Oh no, not addiction to any kind of substance.  Instead, I was addicted to something I wasn’t getting enough of…sleep.

The 80’s were my decade of birthing children and moving our household from place to place, so I tend to remember that decade as being in a fog.   My world  revolved around having babies, nursing them, cleaning up after them, and packing up all of our belongings.

Three children and five moves later, that decade of daze ended and I finally started getting enough sleep again to realize what was happening in the world outside my window.

Somehow through it all, I remembered that song and I found it running through my mind the other day when one of my blogging buddies, Dor at Virginia Views, nominated me for the Addictive Blog Award.  I truly feel honored that she finds my writing addictive.  I know I’m definitely a fan of her blog!

It’s true that I definitely have found myself addicted again.  Yes, I’m a fanatic.  No, I’m not addicted to any kind of substance (unless you count sweet tea!).  Instead, I’m addicted to blogging – both writing my own and reading all the fun, entertaining, inspiring, and amazing blogs out there in cyberspace.

Just for fun, I searched online for the lyrics to “Addicted To Love” and I found they aptly describe my blogging addiction!  Here they are with my little side notes:

Your lights are on, but you’re not home  [My blog lights up online, but right now I’m too busy to write  much.]
Your mind is not your own  [True, my mind is too consumed with going bridal right now.]
Your heart sweats, your body shakes  [I’m missing my blogging ‘fixes,’ I tell ya!]
Another kiss is what it takes  [Just a little kiss of reading my friends’ blogs would be so nice, but who has time for kissing?]

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat  [Too much on my plate keeps me awake at night, and it’s not food.  And then there are all those ideas for new posts rolling around in my brain.]
There’s no doubt, you’re in deep  [Been seriously blogging for over 2 years now, although I started my first blog a few years ago.]
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe  [Look at all my friends’ blog posts lined up in my Reader! Finding enough time to read them all is giving me a panic attack!]
Another kiss is all you need  [Sweet comments here and there lets me know my blog’s not forgotten during my hiatus!]

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff…oh yeah  [Sure, I can take a break from blogging without a problem…oh yeah (sarcasm)]
It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough  [Oh, how I miss blogging, it’s true, I can’t get enough!]
You know you’re gonna have to face it, You’re addicted to love  [You know I’m gonna have to face it, I’m addicted to blogging!]

Might as well face it you’re addicted to love.   [Yeah, I get the message.]

Well, while I’m confessing here, I’m also gonna have to face it, I’m addicted to blog awards.  It’s a sweet kiss of friendship and appreciation to be nominated for a blog award, and I gratefully accept those gifts of blogger love.

Just recently, one of my readers commented that my cup is overflowing right now due to all our family weddings.  Well, it seems my cup overflows in the blogging world too.

Not only did I receive the Addictive Blog Award last week, but also was nominated for three others: Thinking of You from Dianna at These Days of Mine and One Lovely Blog and Versatile Blog both from Kate at Believe Anyway.

Blog awards are great because they provide a little feedback for the writer.  You realize that people do read your posts and they like what they read.  That feeds anyone’s addiction.

But for me, the best part of the awards is they often come from fellow bloggers that I’ve made such an amazing connection with.  These gals really float my boat with their own writing.  Thank you, Dor, Dianna, and Kate!  Even though we’ve never met in real life, I feel like you are the dearest of friends!

I’d prefer not to lump all of the blog award acceptances into one post, but in the interest of time, I am doing just that.  Forgive me, my sweet blogging award friends.

The Addictive Blog Award rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog. Dor, you are a true gem!  Thank you so much.
  • Share a little bit about why you started blogging.  I’ve always been a writer and found it easy to put my feelings and thoughts into words since I was a child.  But as a busy wife and mom raising children, running a household, doing volunteer work, and eventually working at a part-time job for a non-profit organization, writing wasn’t a priority.  I actually started a blog seven years ago when I was recuperating from cancer surgery.  But once I recovered, I stopped writing in it.   After my nest became empty, I finally had free time on my hands – and peace and quiet  – to start blogging once again.  This time, writing helped me express the emotions of all the major life changes I was experiencing.
  • Copy and post the award onto your own blog.  Boom, done, finished!
  • Nominate up to ten other bloggers you think are addictive enough to deserve the award.  Here are some of my addictions:
  1. Montana Outdoors
  2. Writing for Daisies 
  3. The View Out Here
  4. Life As I See It
  5. Georgette Sullins Blog
  6. These Days of Mine
  7. The Fearless Cooking Club
  8. In Wonder
  9. Dividing By Zero
  10. Grace For My Mess

Thinking of You Award rules:

  •  Link back to the sender.  Dianna, you are another true gem!  I keep thinking someday we’re going to meet!
  • Tell seven things that I love and that I think about daily:
  1. My relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
  2. My family.  I love my husband, my kids, and their beloveds.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how blessed I am to have them.
  3. My friends.  I have some of the most loyal, long-lasting friendships.  Some are silver and some are gold (a reference to the old song “Make New Friends, But Keep the Old.”  Some are nearby, some are far-away, but I love every one of these gals!
  4. Life in the country.  Just the other day on a trip to suburbia, hubby and I discussed how much we love our simple and quiet rural life.
  5. Tea.  I’m not a coffee person, but each morning when I awake, I think of having my nice hot cup of tea.  Before caffeine bothered me enough to keep me up at night, I used to have a hot cup of tea in the a.m. and another one before I went to bed.  Now if there’s tea in the evening, it better be herbal or decaffeinated or Mama’s not getting any sleep!
  6. Photography.  Even though I am just a very inexperienced amateur, I love taking pictures and looking at other photographers’ shots.  Every day, I keep an eye open for an interesting picture to capture.  Someday I hope to afford a better camera.
  7. Blogging.  Blogging has opened up a new world for me and I think has made me a better writer.  But more importantly, it’s given me an amazing community – another circle of friends – that I longed for, but didn’t realize it.  And there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about writing in my blog.  Alas, right now blogging is low man on my totem pole.
  • Pass the award to seven other blogs:
  1. Homestead Ramblings
  2. Nikole Hahn’s Journal
  3. Inspired Vision
  4. Sharon McElwrath Writes
  5. Coming East
  6. Living in Graceland
  7. Watkins Every Flavor Beans

Rules for One Lovely Blog Award and Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Give generous thanks to the blogger that nominated you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kate!
  • Write seven things about yourself. Can I please cheat and refer to the list of seven things in the above award?
  • Make a list of 15 bloggers you admire and let them know how awesome they are! These folks are the next round of honorees for the One Lovely Blog Award and The Versatile Blogger Award.  Can I cheat again and nominate all of the bloggers I mentioned above???  Every one of them is worthy of this award and many, many more such awards.  Please go visit their sites and let them know how amazing they are.

If you’re like me, you might as well face it, you’re addicting to blogging!

Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting my ‘shiny’ on

blogDSCN7110Most of my evenings while I was disconnected from my laptop and the blogging world I spent planning and preparing for two bridal showers, with some wedding planning thrown into the mix, while keeping one eye turned toward my family room television watching the Olympics.

I’m a fan of the Olympics, always have been, always will be.  I’ve watched every summer Olympics as long as I can remember and I’ve even been known to shed a tear or two when someone captures that gold medal for his/her country.

Somehow, cheering athletes on to win the gold and bridal shower preparations seemed to mesh together in my world.  Glittering gold medals coincided with the sparkly foo-foo business of going bridal at my house.  But an age-old saying also ran through my mind – “All that glitters is not gold.”

That expression generally means that everything that looks enticing isn’t necessarily so. While something might appear to be precious, it’s quite possible it’s not valuable at all.  That’s true about so many ‘shiny’ items that attract our attention.   In the realm of glittery things though, a gold medal is pretty precious especially to the athlete who won it.

Time and energy spent on special decorations, food, and favors to make both bridal showers beautiful for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law and my oldest daughter definitely were precious as gold for them, me, and hopefully our guests as well.   I know both showers provided treasured golden memories that will continue to glow in my memory bank for many years to come.

So glistening and sparkly thoughts have been in my mind lately.  Imagine my surprise then that during my little hiatus from blogging, I opened my email inbox to find a message from one of my blogging buddies announcing I received some glitter for myself!

Dor of Virginia Views graciously awarded the Mrs. Sparkly Ten Commandments Award to Mama’s Empty Nest.  Now Dor is one sparkly gal.  Her wit and wisdom shines throughout her blog and I just love reading her writing.  Even though I’ve never met her in person, I imagine her to be one of those people who just lights up a room.

I don’t really think of myself as one of those glistening type of personalities – I think I’m more of a plain Jane.  I don’t sparkle.  I don’t shimmer.  Heck, I don’t even wear flashy, star spangled clothes, or much shiny jewelry.

But apparently, I AM sparkly when I write!  According to Dor, the Mrs. Sparkly Ten Commandments Award is “is supposedly based on a real woman who was (or is) known for her elegance.  She was/is also renowned for her personal integrity, good manners and behavior, for having high expectations of people, and a great sense of humor.”  I feel much honored to be considered any of those characteristics and I’ll take all the glitz I can get, so thank you very kindly, Dor!

Like most blogging awards, there are certain rules to follow when accepting the gold honor.   This particular award has three rules: Answer 10 questions.   Nominate some bloggers you think deserve this award.  Notify your nominees.

I’m all about following rules, so here’s my stab at the 10 questions:

1)      Describe yourself in seven words.  Believer.  Practical.  Devoted.  Realist.  Stubborn.  Loving.   Grateful.

2)      What keeps you up at night?  Well… ahem….it used to be my hubby’s LOUD snoring, but his apparatus now alleviates that problem.  So now I find that stress and too much on my plate (and I don’t mean food!) keeps me up at night.

3)      Whom do you aspire to be (like)? Wow, that’s a hard one, but you know that description of Mrs. Sparkly Ten Commandments?  A person of integrity, possessing and exhibiting good manners and behavior, having high expectations of people and a great sense of humor.  Yes, I aspire to be like that!

4)      What scares you?  Black bears that suddenly appear around the corner of my garage when I’m sitting on the front porch!

5)     What are the best and worst things about blogging? The best part is having a circle of writing friends.  Honestly, I’ve “met” the most amazing people through my blog and made some truly wonderful connections with them.  And the encouraging comments folks leave for me touches and warms my heart.   The worst?   Feeling disconnected when you’re not online blogging or reading other  blogs.

6)      What was the last website you looked at?  Besides WordPress, I’m pretty sure it was this one when I ordered a few yummy goodies for oldest daughter’s bridal shower!

7)      If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Oh, where to start??? No, seriously, sometimes I’d rather be the balloon than the balloon weight.

8)      Slankets, yes or no?  There are certain people in my family, who shall remain nameless, who actually own and use slankets.  As someone who suffered (and I do mean suffered) for too many years with hot flashes, slankets?? Heck, no!!!

9)      What are you wearing now? Comfy stretchy capris, a sleeveless shirt and no shoes.  My feet yearn to be free of shoes most of the time!

10)   Tell us something about the person who nominated you.  Dor is such a neat gal.  I’d love to meet her in person someday because I find her funny, entertaining, yet so down-to-earth and likeable.  I truly enjoy her views, stories, and pictures of the beautiful Virginia countryside where she lives.

I made it!  Let me tell you, a couple of those 10 questions were brain stumpers, at least for me.  So now on to the really great part about receiving such an award, you get to nominate other talented writers who deserve to glitter like gold as well!

Please go visit my nominees – they aren’t just flashes in the pan, they are the real deal and light up my blog roll just like a string of twinkle lights.  Shine on, my friends, shine on!

Homestead Ramblings Blog

Living In Graceland

Georgette Sullins’ Blog

These Days of Mine

Grace For My Mess

Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Call out the bucket brigade, ’cause I’m on fire

blogDSCN6771
Just chillin’ under the family room ceiling fan

I don’t know what the weather’s been like where you live, but here we had quite a hot spell with high temperatures and humidity.  Given my dislike of that kind of weather, I felt like I could just have burst into flames.   Spontaneous combustion anyone?

Thank goodness for air conditioning, otherwise I would have been calling out the bucket brigade to douse the flames of heat.  But this week, the temps have fallen into more doable digits (at least for me) and thankfully, cooler nights have returned.

I admit I moaned and groaned a lot inside my air-conditioned house because I couldn’t open any windows to get fresh air since doing so was like living in an oven.  I really covet cool, fresh air to sleep well at night.  Yes,  I wilted and whimpered when I had to be outside for any length of time too.  As it turns out, I was on fire anyway; I just didn’t know it!

Yesterday as I read some of my favorite fellow bloggers’ posts, I learned that my blog has been awarded the “Blog On Fire Award.”  Whew, last week during our hot spell, that really would have been appropriate!  But even though my blog was named ‘on fire’  this week, I’m quite comfy and happy with both the award so graciously given to me by my good friend, Dianna, over at These Days of Mine, – thank you so much! –  and the cooler weather at my house.

This award only requires me to link back to the person who bestowed the honor upon me, list eight interesting facts about myself, and pass the award to some of my favorite blogs.   Dianna invited her calico cat Sundae to ‘write’ her acceptance post and list eight facts about her kitty life.

I thought that was a fun idea,  so I asked my prima donna calico cat, Callie, to ‘write’ this post and let you learn fascinating tidbits about her.  So here’s Callie (in italics) with her two eight cents:

1.   I am definitely Mama’s cat — I hate the heat as much as she does!  Papa always feeds me first thing in the morning, and then I’m ready to go exploring outside.  But just because I don’t come running when one of them calls me, they leave me outside when they go to work!  When Mama comes home in the afternoon, I’m roasted! I can’t wait to get into the air conditioned house,  plop down on the cool kitchen floor, and wait until she brings me cool water to drink.  Or sometimes, I just situate  myself on the coffee table under the ceiling fan in the family room.

2.  I know it seems beneath my dignity as a cat because it’s a ‘dog’ thing to do, but I will do tricks for treats.  I will sit on command, dance in a circle, beg, and then get my own treats out of the treat jar – I try to grab a big paw full.  I love those treats!

3.  I’m the official yard guardian.   I see those pesky other critters that try to sneak into Papa’s vegetable garden.  I keep my eye on them in case they get too close, and then POW!  I’ll pounce on them or chase them.  Just the other day, I caught a mole and proudly deposited it right outside the French door on the deck…right where my humans would see it.  Well, Mama almost stepped on it…in her bare feet….I’m still not sure why she got so mad about that.  I mean she sure seemed happy when I caught all those dumb field mice that were nesting under the deck.

Me with one of my fun, young ones

4.  Sometimes I have to admit it gets kinda lonely around here with all my fun humans (the young ones) gone.  I really like it when they come back home to see me.  I get so excited I twirl in circles, rub against them, and even lick my boy’s ears.  (Well, he’s all grown up now so I guess you would call him a man.)  Gosh, I miss them!  When our Grandpa person was still alive, he mowed our yard and I was so afraid of his big green tractor.  I liked him a lot, but not that noisy tractor of his!  I wouldn’t go near that thing.  But now that he’s gone, and we have his green tractor in our garage, I like to lay on it a lot.   Mama thinks I miss Grandpa, and you know what?  She’s right.

5.  I love being outside in the dark, but Mama and Papa won’t let me go out at night any more.  Just because I’ve been sprayed a couple of times by a skunk, I guess.  I really didn’t see what the big deal was about that and why Papa gave me a weird bath — twice!  I really don’t like baths – weird or otherwise!

What does he see in that thing, anyway?

6.  Sometimes I get irritated when Mama pays more attention to that strange box thing she puts on her lap than me.  So I just jump up on her and walk across the part where she makes her fingers go.  Sometimes I lay down right on it, so she will pet me.  But then, how rude!  She just shoves me off.  Papa seems to spend a lot of time on his box thing too, so I climb on the back of the love seat to try to attract his attention.  If he ignores me, I jump on him.

7.  I love bling! The shinier, the better.  If Mama takes her jewelry off and forgets to put it away, I always find it and carry it in my mouth to a place where I can play with it.   I’ve tried to pull  bracelets off her arm, earrings out of her ears, and one time even hid her diamond engagement ring from her for two days!  Shiny jewelry makes such a fun toy!  I don’t get it when she calls me a ‘cat burglar.’

8. I’m such a lady, I don’t like to make much noise, so I don’t meow very loudly.  So unladylike to howl, if you ask me.  My litter box is in the garage, so when I need to ‘go,’ I sit at the door and stare at my people.  If they don’t see me, I go find them, slap them a little with my paw, and then run back to the door.  Finally, they get the drift!  Humans really can be so dense sometimes!  Since I’m a very quiet meower, I used to scratch at the garage door when I wanted back inside the house, but boy, did that make Mama mad.  So a few years ago, she hung a big jingle bell on the garage door knob.   When I want in, I just ring the bell.  They come running to let me in, just like Pavlov’s dogs!  HA! Yep, Mama and Papa think they’ve ‘trained’ me, but I know who’s the boss.  Just don’t let Mama know that I told you that.  She likes to think she’s in charge around here.

So now that Callie told you all her little intricacies, it’s my turn again to write.  As for naming blogs who deserve this award, several of my blogging friends already seem to have it or they are not that into awards.   So I’m deviating from the norm here.  I think if you’re a reader and you’re also an avid writer, you’re already “on fire” as writing is probably one of your passions.  So please accept this award if you’d like it.

As for me, I know I’ll never throw a bucket of water on my passion to be ‘on fire’ to write, but I sure hope to stay cool while doing so.  And on that note, I’m off to get a nice tall glass full of ice cubes and iced tea.  I may be on fire, but I know how to stay cool.

Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized

ABC…not quite as easy as 1,2,3

The Jackson Five sang it…. “ABC, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3…”

Uh-huh.  Sometimes blogging is as easy as ABC. An idea pops into your head, you sit at the computer, and the words just flow out of you like a prolific fountain.

But at other times, chalk it up to writer’s block or just being plain old unmotivated, nothing’s coming forth.  As easy as one, two, three though, there’s an entire world of bloggers to turn to for encouragement.

That why I enjoy my little blogging community.  I’ve made some amazing friends and they never cease to inspire and also encourage me with their comments and appreciative thoughts.  When one of them remarks how awesome a post is or that it is beautifully written, it just makes my heart glad enough to do a little happy dance.

One of those sweet writer/friends is Dianna at These Days of Mine.  Recently, she received a well-deserved  honor,  the ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award.  She graciously presented this accolade to my blog as well and I couldn’t be more grateful for this lovely tribute.

It’s easy to accept a complimentary tribute…easy as ABC.  The acceptance requirement, listing 26 things about yourself in alphabetical order, proved to be a little more difficult,  but after a few …er… many days of mulling this over, I finally thought of descriptive phrases from A to Z to describe little ol’ me.

I am:

A – an American alto but I sing our national anthem in soprano.

B – a blogger trying to balance posts that bring stories to life via words against photos that bring words to life.  Hopefully, that didn’t boggle your mind!

C – a cat owner of one chubby calico named Callie.

D – a dabbler who finds delight in photography and details, not drama.

E –  efficient and effective, an empty nester wishing for more energy.

F – a person of faith, fond of family, friends, and fellowship.

Ggenuine and genial and gossip makes me groan.

Hheadstrong but helpful and hopeful.

I – an ice cube fanatic as well as an ice water and iced tea drinker.

J – a former journalist who jots down joy.

Kkeen on keepsakes but not knick-knacks.

L – a logical list maker and lover of life.

M – the mother of three marrying kids.

N – a nice but not noisy neighbor.

O – an ocean observer who oooos over office products.

P  – a Pennsylvanian with ancestors who were peers of William Penn.

Q –interested in quilts, quotes, quaint places, and quirky people.

R – a reader, a rememberer, and a rejoicer.

Ssaved by the grace of a sovereign Savior.

T –  someone who treasures tranquility and travel.

U – an undeniably grateful uterine cancer survivor.

V – a vertically challenged (short) person who values vacations and the scent of vanilla.

Wwarm and welcoming with a bit of a wacky side.

X – eXtra fond of my family and Xmas.

Y – the youngest of three sisters who loves the color yellow.

Z – someone who zooms and zips when she should stick to the speed zone, but only zapped once by the policeman’s radar gun.  Zounds! That was an expensive lesson.

And now for the easy as one, two, three part of the award.  I must name 10 other worthy bloggers for the ABC Award tribute. My favorite 10 are:

“ABC..

ABC, it’s easy,

Easy as 1, 2, 3

It’s like counting up to three

Or simple as Do, re, mi

Sing a simple melody,

That’s how easy [blogging] love can be!”

Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in inspiration

Enthusiastically inspired

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” ~ Bo Bennett

What inspires you?

Is it nature?  Music?  A photograph?  A person?  Spoken words?  Art work?  History?  Architecture? Literature?

I imagine if I asked 10 different individuals that very question, I would hear 10 unique responses.  I suppose on any given day, entirely different aspects may inspire us depending on our mood for the day or circumstances in which we find ourselves.

I find sources of inspiration everywhere.  Sometimes it’s in the beauty of my surroundings, especially when I take in the swirling colors of a sunset or the majesty of ocean waves or a beautifully unique nature scene painted in living color before my eyes.  So capturing moments of beauty or wonder via photography often inspires me.

Other times, words themselves serve as inspiration.  I’m fond of quotes and I accumulate and catalog them in my trusty, worn notebook like someone who collects treasured stamps or coins.  I read through them to find inspiration for a blog post or just a thought to ponder for the day.  The words of faith I find in my Bible also provide inspiration.

Inspiration is something I find difficult to describe, so I turned to my trusty thesaurus for help. Inspiration can be stimulus, spur, motivation, stimulation, encouragement, or a muse.  It’s defined as creativeness, inventiveness, brilliance, or vision.  Inspiration comes to us in the form of an idea, a brainwave, an insight, a flash, a brainstorm, or a revelation.

I’ve been blogging my thoughts on life for one year and eight months now.  Sometimes inspiration for a blog post does come in a flash.  Other times, I mull a concept over for days.  Right now, my notebook is chock full of subjects to write about and the post-it note on my laptop lists more notions to develop into written word.

One of the things I’ve come to appreciate the most about blogging is the encouragement I derive from readers and blogging friends.  My blog’s humble beginning was just a creative outlet for all the words, thoughts, and emotions that had been bottled up in my brain for many years.  Never did I think my blog would develop a following of people who would actually want to read my writing!  I soon realized that I didn’t just enjoy writing my own blog, I relished reading others.

Another surprising aspect has been that my fellow bloggers spark inspiration.  So it is with heartfelt appreciation I acknowledge that two of my favorite bloggers recently received the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and they, in turn, nominated my blog for that honor.   I can’t think of better encouragement than when other writers proclaim that what you write is inspiring and that you ‘keep the blogisphere a beautiful place.’

So I thank Dor at Technicolor Day Dreams  for blessing me with this award and my good friend, Diana, at These Days of Mine for her gracious gift as well.

The award rules include acknowledging and thanking the giver (linking it back) and putting the award on your page; listing seven things about yourself, and passing the award to seven other bloggers.  Dianna added a new spin by combining the very inspiring blogger award with another idea of answering seven specific prompts.

So being the over-achiever that I sometimes am, I decided to do both.  First off, here is a list of seven things about me:

  1. I am short and always wanted to be taller.  Maybe one reason my tall husband caught my eye?
  2. I’ve always wanted to visit England (home of some of my ancestors).
  3. Sunshine makes me gloriously happy!
  4. As a college girl, I often said I wasn’t getting married or having children.  My, how our thoughts can change drastically.  I wouldn’t trade my husband and three children for the most exciting career in the world.
  5. I need lists to keep me on track.
  6. Completing crossword puzzles sharpens my memory.  I don’t recycle the daily crossword from the newspaper until I’ve finished the puzzle.
  7. I still miss the sound of my dad’s voice and my mother’s hands.

Now I’ll complete the same seven prompts Dianna used:

I’m most creative … when I’m looking at a photograph. Pictures give me ideas for writing my blogs.

If I were a color, I’d be … yellow, it’s happy.

I often imagine myself … thinner!!!  😉

I really wish I knew how to … play piano music from memory; I just can’t seem to be able to do this.

I’d love to spend a lazy Sunday … sitting in warm sunshine at the beach with all my family beside me.

I’m most excited about … my three children’s weddings!

My secret talent is … when someone gives me a word, I can usually sing a song lyric with that specific word in it.

Now it’s time to pass the award along to a few bloggers I find inspiring.

Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Posted in Life

Walking on sunshine

blogDSCN7841You may not know this if you don’t know me personally.  Yep, I have an addiction.   I’m dependent on sunshine.

Every winter, even though I do relish the cold weather and I’m crazy enough to say I enjoy snow, I start getting restless, weary, and downright grumpy come February.

I owe this moodiness to lack of sunlight. Winter’s short days coupled with dreary, overcast skies that usually accompany a good portion of the season here in my homeland seem to affect me negatively.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because I don’t require medication or even light therapy, but the lack of light – in particular sunshine – and even a lack of brilliant colors definitely makes me a Grumpy Gerta.  Writing this post while seated at my kitchen table perusing a mostly brown, gray, and black landscape outside my window reminds me of this malady.

So every February, I anxiously await longer days, more sunshine, and whine at winter’s longevity, saying,  “Bring on the color, will ya??”  I first noticed my temperament became gloomy when we lived in the Pacific Northwest where the sunshine is minimal and the rainy skies continue for a good part of the year.

A wise advice giver told us to purchase a house with abundant windows, a home not located in a nest of those huge Douglas Fir trees that seemed everywhere.  We moved there from the Midwest plains where sunshine abounded and trees weren’t as high as skyscrapers.

During our first winter (if you could call a season without any frost winter), I noticed the ever constant overcast skies and lack of sunlight affected my demeanor.  When the sun came out, my world became rosy.  I was a most happy camper as my mood lightened, my steps became more springy, and my general outlook brighter.

Six years later, we moved back to our home state and my hometown.  Imagine my dismay to find out my neck of the woods (where winter definitely arrives) is also noted for lack of sunshine.  In 49 years of weather records, our nearest city supposedly averaged  sunny days only 45% of the year.   Some experts claim October is one of our sunniest months, which explains why I love fall weather.  And I LOVE sunshine!  When the sun beams, I beam.  It’s that simple.

So this week, it’s been rainy and dismal and drab and gray.   Need I go on?  Blah.  The sun appeared to be AWOL and that made me tired, apathetic, and lethargic.  Really, I just wanted to crawl back into bed yesterday because it was so bleak outside.  And I didn’t even feel like blogging!  Yes, it’s that serious!

But this morning gifted me little glimpses of sunshine literally and figuratively.  Every so often, rays of light peeked out from behind the clouds and streams of sunlight flooded through my windows.  Hurray!  I started feeling more perky.  I opened up my laptop, logged into WordPress and another little glimpse of sunshine poured into my day.  Dor over at  Technicolor Day Dreams  blessed me with a comment announcing that she nominated my blog for an award — get ready — the Sunshine Award!

Sunshine??  I’ll take it!!!  Gladly!!  What a sweet thing to be nominated for an award that is given to “bloggers who are inspirational, and who have impacted your blogging or your life.”

Here’s what Dor wrote to explain why she nominated Mama’s Empty Nest for this award:  “because she is “Mama” to everyone and writes luminous posts full of sunshine and hope – the perfect candidate for this award.”

Dor doesn’t know me personally; she doesn’t know that I LOVE sunshine.  She doesn’t know that my goal is to spread some sunshine and hope into this dark world.  But she sees that in my posts which sends rays of sunshine into my soul.  Thank you, Dor! I awakened this morning thinking I had nothing to write about today but just one or two rays of light provided inspiration.

I’m happy to comply with the rules of the Sunshine Award.  Heck, when the sun shines, I’m just happy to comply –  period.   So here goes:

Sunshine Award Rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.  Check.  See the logo, it even looks happy, doesn’t it?
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself. Check. Q & A  below!
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.  Check. The difficult part is narrowing down the nominations because a myriad of fabulous bloggers exist out there.  My faves listed below.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated. Check.  That’s the fun part!
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.  Check.  Dor, you’re incredibly kind and sweet!

Ten Sunshine Award Questions (and answers):

Favorite color:  Yellow!  Of course, the color of sunshine!

Favorite animal:  Cat, namely one beautiful calico kitty named Callie

Favorite number:  Eight (it’s a recurring theme in my life)

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Tea, hot or iced,  hands down.  I also like….you guessed it….sun tea.

Prefer Facebook or Twitter?  I’m not on Twitter (probably because I’m too wordy!!), so I’ll have to say Facebook (although it aggravates me sometimes.  But that post I’ll save for another day.)

My passion:   #1 – God (He created the sun and gave us His Son!)  #2 –  my husband and family.   #3 –  writing, it does give me joy.

Prefer getting or giving presents:  Receiving gifts is not high on my love language list, but I so enjoy giving joy to others with a meaningful gift.

Favorite pattern:  Beams of sunshine slicing their way through the clouds (like in my photo!)

Favorite day of the week:  Friday (it’s usually a day off, my catch-up day, my do whatever I feel like day!)

Favorite flower:  So hard to choose!!!  I vacillate between lily of the valley, lilac, and hyacinth.  Bet you thought I’d say daffodils or buttercups because they are yellow! I like them too, but I love lily of the valley for their tiny, delicate blooms, lilac and hyacinth for their lovely fragrance.

And now it’s time to pass the torch of sunshine to my fellow, inspirational bloggers listed in no particular order but as they came to mind.  Thank you all for sending a little light and sunshine into my blogging world.

I must apologize for two things though. First, I’ve mentioned several of these bloggers before (I can’t help it, they are my favorites!!) and I haven’t had much free time to seek out a lot of new blogs to read.  Second, if you’ve already received this award, I’m sorry, but you are my sunshine and you deserve to be recognized again!

  1. Grace For My Mess  I always find rays of sunshine at Jana’s blog as she writes about her faith and family, spreading the light of our Savior to all who read her posts.
  2. Homestead Ramblings  HR was one of my very first contacts in the blogging world and she has become one of my dearest friends.  Her insights inspire me and are illuminating as well.
  3. Georgette Sullins Blog  Another blogger that I’ve come to think of as a dear friend.  Her life stories never fail to intrigue me and make me smile.  Smiling is sunshine for the soul.
  4. My Wife Doesn’t Think I’m Funny  His wife may not think this guy is funny, but I think he’s hysterical.  His posts always make me laugh and not being much of a humor writer myself, I admire that about him.
  5. Coming East  Simply put, Susan’s posts are interesting and well-written.
  6. Seeing Beauty  I recently stumbled upon this young writer and immediately sensed a beautiful soul, one who serves others in a far-off land.
  7. Stories About My Life, 92% True  Jimmy keeps me updated on what happened in the 80’s (the ‘lost’ decade I can’t remember because I was too busy giving birth and raising three kids!) as he writes nostalgic stories for his family but manages to amuse the rest of his readers, me included.
  8. Big Happy Nothing  Amiable, Amiable just exudes fun and just like we need sunshine, we all need a little fun in our lives too!
  9. Minding My Nest  With that common theme of nests in mind, I enjoy reading Kelly’s journey coping with her “not so empty nest.”  She fills her nest and blog with great pictures, awesome recipes, and creative craft ideas.
  10. These Days of Mine   A day without Dianna’s blog is like a day without sunshine.
  11. Inspired Visions  I’m always inspired by this blogger’s visions which are her wonderful photographs.
  12. Montana Outdoors  Even when this talented photographer posts pictures of snow and ice, it warms my heart.  He’s a down to earth, homespun kind of guy, one you’d be happy to call your friend.

Today in my Opportunity book, I feel like I’ve been transported to sunny California.   The sun is shining outside and in my heart of joy, I’m walking on sunshine.

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