So Much To Appreciate

Last week, Ivon Prefontaine (ivonprefontaine.wordpress.com) graciously included me among of list of bloggers he appreciates.  His blog – “Teacher As Transformer” –  delights, teases the imagination, encourages wonder and provides glimpses of beauty that can leave one sighing.  I look forward to his posts, never knowing what I will read yet confident that I will feel inspired in some way.  So first and foremost – thank you Ivon, for expanding my view, sharing your perspective and generously including me in this wonderful circle of impressive talent.

Interestingly, what Ivon appreciates about this blog helps me to meet the requirement of completing the sentence “A blog is…”.  Although I’m hopeful that he enjoys the content most of the time,  my posts weren’t the driver for his inclusion of me ‘in the circle’.  Ivon appreciates the dialogues that occur after a post is published, that I respond to each comment.  Of course I write back – that’s the greatest  joy of blogging to me.

In my head, a blog is a conversation.  The post in and of itself represents the context for further discussion – and it is the feedback that propels the movement from one topic to another.  I have no illusions about my talent as a writer – I wouldn’t buy a book of mine even if I had the focus to write one.  I write as I speak, tangents included.  What I am though,  is really curious about how we think about the world, how we react to the big and little experiences that occur throughout our days.  I will share an observation – from the silly to the sublime – to ‘hear’ what you think.  It’s not a selfless expression, for I learn about myself while on the karma truck too.  Those lessons?  That should wait for another day.

The pleasure of being in a circle is found in the expectation that one can expand it further.  As such, I am asked to invite two more bloggers along. This is tricky, for there are many I follow and admire and appreciate deeply.  So I offer two, with the caveat that I could write an entire post just listing the incredible people who have found me and who I have found.

I appreciate Cathy Ulrich who writes largeself.com for the wide breadth of topics and genres she so beautifully introduces on her blog.  I love her sensitivity to that which is around her, even if it is the subtle bend of a petal on a flower.

And I appreciate Keith who writes keiththegreen@wordpress.com.  Keith also addresses diverse topics and observations on his blog.  I appreciate his humor, his patience and consistent return to lessons about walking through life with the gentlest of steps.  And he doesn’t mind answering some of my really ignorant questions!

Again, there are so many – and I would venture to guess that you know who you are because I have written about you often.  You are all in my circle, because without you there is no conversation, there is no back-and-forth that define the best of relationships.  For me that’s the best delivery from the karma truck.

 

 

5:15 AM & Almost As Inspired As David

 

I want to thank Ivon Prefontaine (teacherastransformer@word.press.com)  and David Kanigan (davidkanigan.com) for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  The irony of course is that David’s blog has inspired me from the first day I started blogging six months ago, and Ivon has been a recent, delightful and thought-provoking discovery.  That either finds me worthy of being in this category is super-surprising to me.  I don’t think I’m in their league, though like a persistent, pain-in-the-butt sibling, I keep knocking on the door… And then David whispers through the door “what’s the password”, I say “please?” and he laughs…Seriously, thank you both very, very much..

Ok, seven things about me that you don’t know…

1.  I’ve got a safari on my bucket list.  My sister is going on my fantasy trip next year, and I’m totally pumped for her.  And a little jealous too.

2.  I’ve got a lot of places I want to see – and I’m embarrassed to say that many of them are within the US.  It’s strange to talk about seeing other countries when you haven’t even seen your own.  Road trip anyone?

3.  I can cry just thinking about the music from “An Affair to Remember” with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr…”Dahling, I was looking up…”…let’s not even talk about the last five minutes of any rom-com, drama, cartoon or action movie.  This makes me a lousy movie date.

4.  But I’m a cheap date – which doesn’t mean I can be had.  Well, if you asked my husband..

5.  Andy and I are coming up on our 20th anniversary – which I will write about later.  Given that this wasn’t either of our first trips down the aisle, I’d say it’s an impressive number.  More importantly, I’d say we have at least another forty or fifty to go…

6.  Yes, as the admission above suggests, I plan on sticking around for a long time

7.  I have never been as transparent with my thoughts as I have within this community.

 

So…hoo’s next??  (Sorry I couldn’t resist and was looking for a chance to use this picture)…

I am hoping to list blogs that I have not written about before.  This is the fun part…Here are seven more blogs I find inspiring, rewarding, funny, thoughtful and rife with talent…

anakegoodall.wordpress.com – Anake posts incredible images and music – I anticipate each post with curiosity and enthusiasm

clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com – she is a hoot and very popular..you’ll read her and understand why..

magnoliabeginnings.org – Maureen’s journey is honest, open and welcoming.  You can feel her heart in her words, and I just love that.

lifeinthedashlane.wordpress.com – Lee is amazing – smart, frank and so full of life she practically jumps off the page.

awindowinthewoods.com – Suzanne is a talented photographer, sharing pictures that delight and remind us of the wonder all around.

shoesonthewrongfeet.com – I delight in the stories of day-to-day life with two very active, curious and gorgeous little boys as seen through the eyes of their adoring, busy and on-the-move mom.  You don’t have to be a parent to enjoy her posts and pictures!

newsofthetimes.org – Jenni is provocative, engaging and challenges her readers to think and engage in a dialogue about timely news making issues and topics.  I may not always add my two cents, but I will always read her perspective (and those of her followers) with interest.

My thanks again to David and Ivon – I make no promises, but will try to get close to the bar you have set..

 

 

So Many Lessons, Not Enough Time

It has certainly been an afternoon rife with instruction.  I sit here before you a far brighter soul than I was this morning (ok, I’m looking at a computer screen, but that didn’t sound nearly as wise).  How much can one learn in an afternoon?  Prepare to be amazed..

1.  Do not try and untangle the vacuum cleaner hose in a swimming pool while it’s on.  Definitely do not do this right before you are heading out the door.  Unless you like driving in wet clothes, in which case – please invert this lesson and go right ahead and try this regularly.  You will get the result you seek.  That said, you could also just hop into the shower after you’ve got your clothes on, make-up done and hair dried – it will serve the same purpose..

 Although this isn’t a picture of me, the resemblance is uncanny.  I will say, that if you can do this while your dogs are happily barking at said dancing vacuum, or better yet, while you have people around watching you wrestle  - even better.

2.  My sister can still silence me with one sentence.  This time it was (I’m paraphrasing) ‘the one who drives the narrative, drives the response’.  Now you tell me – how lyrical is she?  How smart?  Yeah I know I have typical younger-sister-syndrome – I think she rocks the world every which way the world can be rocked, but come on – who comes out with stuff that good off the top of their heads?  The good news for me is that we’re genetically connected, so I may come up with something like that without a script or an edit one of these days.

3.  Laughing over lunch with a new friend is the best way to spend part of an afternoon.  Perhaps sitting outside when it’s ridiculously hot and humid isn’t the best idea, but if you’re both glowing it makes it okay.

4.  While we were away, I was given ‘The Commentator Award’ by the very inspirational and candid author of the blog GenieSpeaks.wordpress.com.  My understanding is that this is an acknowledgement of my comments when she posts.  She makes it easy – I enjoy her blogs and her sheer delight in the world around her.  Travel.Culture.Food.wordpress.com was kind enough to give me ‘The Sunshine Blogger’ award.  If you ever want to be transported visually and carried away in your daydreams, visit this blog.  You will enjoy the commentary – the exuberance is almost palpable.  I have received this award once before from SimonMarsh.wordpress.com, but have just figured out exactly how to post these images without the assistance of one of my kids or kids-in-law.  If there’s a ‘Really Smart Blogger Award’, I hope no one ever thinks of me as a possible recipient – it would be disingenuous, I think.

5.  I don’t want to minimize this praise, nor diminish the fact that I am continually surprised by such largesse.  I am beyond appreciative and I thank you.  But today I  learned that there aren’t sufficient written alternatives in the English language (or perhaps it’s my limited vocabulary) to express the sheer joy that I have found in this welcoming, forgiving and generous new group of friends.  For I feel that those who read this blog have become my friends.  I look forward to your posts, I run back to the computer to read your comments, some of us have emailed separately, others reblog…And in this way, we continue to get to know each other and show each other who we are without some of the filters that might exist were we to be introduced in person.  I started writing this blog in January – since then it’s been visited by over 10,000 people (presumably most of them have come in error) and there are hundreds of people who are following with intention.  I’m not sure why.  I do know that five months ago I thought I would try this and see where the road led.  It led me to you.  You give me far more than awards – you give me your laughter, your stories, your tears,  your encouragement, your opinions, your perspective, your talent.  Certainly you have given more than I could have asked for or expected.  How do you thank people you feel you know but have never met, for the gift of trust and love and friendship?  This is a meager attempt to express the abundant gratitude and joy that you have given me.  Which leads me to…

6.  There are surprises in each day.  There is krazy karma and indescribable, head-shaking moments of wonder and humility.  And if you know that, no matter how drenched you may get, you’re never all wet.

A Week Of Surprises

Well this is has been quite a week – two awards – really??  Perhaps a more seasoned, sophisticated blogger would accept such accolades with greater serenity and a whole helluva lot more cool, but I lay no claim to sophistication nor experience.  And I have serious doubts about my ‘coolness’ quotient too.  So, I can respond with an enthusiastic thank you and gratitude.  I’m truly surprised and really pleased.  I’m not sure which tickles me more – being a recipient of such generosity or being able to introduce some of the wonderful talent that I take pleasure in visiting on a regular basis.

According to the rules of the award, I first and foremost want to thank newsofthetimes.wordpress.com for this award.  This is a terrific site to objectively discuss timely issues and share perspectives on subjects that are both far-reaching and compelling.  I’m always surprised by what the topic du jour is going to be – and am really impressed with the creativity reflected on this site.  Thank you again – and keep on writing!!

Next, I am supposed to recommend fifteen bloggers who I feel are deserving of this award.  This is a little tricky – for I have nominated some in the past who arguably don’t need one more award – they’re that good.  And yet, their names may appear again for their blogs are a constant source of delight, creativity and/or food for thought.  So here goes – I hope you can link to all of them.

Lead.Learn.Live.wordpress.com - David Kanigan is in a class by himself (and I mean that in the best possible way).  His posts have incredible breadth, heart and inspiration.  There are a host of things for which I could thank David – including the occasional ‘atta girl’ – this seems to be as good a way as any to express my appreciation for his talent and support to this novice.

The Grand Master/Little Master Series.com - I love the questions that are posed on this site, as the author strives to write books for parents and children which support strong values, confidence and compassion.

Help Me Rhonda. com - If you’ve never ‘met’ Rhonda – you’re missing a gift.  Funny, pensive, engaging and real – we have become cyber-friends of similar minds and sleep patterns!  Her writing never ceases to delight.

Girl On The Contrary.com - I’m laughing as I write this.  Her ability to find humor in the mundane, laugh-out-loud indignation at the little insults life can throw one’s way AND her excellent book recommendation make me forever in her debt.

Simon Marsh.com - Simon is a parish priest for an Anglican church in the north of England.  His observations of life, and the incredible generosity of his spirit always provides a peaceful respite, a place to visit where life’s complexities seem surprisingly simple.

Not Quite Old.com - Although none of us are getting younger, this blog and the adorable illustrations that accompany each post certainly gives one the impetus to make peace with gravity and maintain one’s humor.

Where’s My T-Backandotherstories.com - There is so much to this site – posts about the insults of illness and the aging, magnificent photographs from all over the world.  The delicate mixture of beauty and sorrow makes this site one I return to often.

Todd’s Perspective.com - You never know what Todd is going to post, for he scours the Internet for cogent articles, pictures, quotes that are as eclectic and different as one moment can be from the next.

Practical Practice Management – Tina offers up terrific posts about work life and management.  She can be provocative and thoughtful – and I appreciate that she is willing to tackle any number of sensitive issues.

supertucksmama.com and the book of alice  – Two blogs about two remarkable little children and their even more remarkable moms.  I just love checking into their worlds and see what’s new – for something always is!

I’ve just started reading these blogs and think you will enjoy them as much as I do - lifeintheboomerlane.com; magnolia beginnings.com; blessedwithastaronherforehead.com and tracie louise photography. com.  Whew – ok, I think I’ve met the second criteria!

Finally, I’m supposed to tell you seven things about me…hmmm..

1.  My profession has demanded that I be ‘out there’ yet at core, I’m a very insular person.

2.  My name is pronounced with a ‘short i’ in the first syllable, but down here in Northern Virginia, everyone calls me “MeeMee” (which would make my mother turn over in her grave).  That said, as a kid everyone called me “Mini” cause I was so short – sigh…

3.  I used to sing under the elevated subway in Queens where I grew up.  I’d try to hold a note for as long as it took for the train to pass.

4.  I am humbled by the people who have ‘found’ me over the course of the past year.  As I closed the door to working at the firm, and the concomitant loss of identity began to descend, another door really did open and it was one replete with love and some of the most amazing people I have ever known.

5.  I still cry when my kids leave to go to their homes – and the two married sons live only 15 minutes away.  Thankfully they still humor me and let me take them out on ‘dates’ like we did when they were little.

6.  My husband and I met by being set up on a blind date orchestrated by our two nieces when they were four years old and their moms (who were a little older).

7.  I am truly as corny as you imagine me to be.

Well, that does it for me today.  Thank you again – I am so thrilled to be part of this amazing group of people who create their unique magic out in the ether!