Hello to my blogging family. I have come to appreciate blogging awards because their intent is to not only express appreciation to the blogger receiving the award, but also to introduce us to other WordPress bloggers who deserve to be equally appreciated. It’s a win-win. I feel honored to accept the Versatile Blogger Award from someone who not only has my utmost respect, but who’s also a brilliant writer. I am awe-struck at times while reading her posts. I honestly don’t recall how I found her blog, but after reading just one post by Madalyn, a.k.a. Muggle in Converse, I was hooked.
She is one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever run across on WordPress and beyond. Having a huge heart and impeccable critical thinking skills, she stays abreast of current events, and presents her findings and thought provoking opinions in a professional, empathic, no-nonsense manner. Madalyn tackles controversial subjects that few have the courage to do, and she does it for all the right reasons. She’s not out to win a popularity contest, and her posts bring awareness about pertinent issues we really should be paying attention to. Her posts have also been a source of validation and healing for me. I’d also like to add that Madalyn is writing a novel. Wooohooo! Oh, she’s going places.
To my dear friend, Madalyn, thank you for this honor. ❤
One of the requirements for accepting the Versatile Blogger Award is to share 7 things about myself. Whenever I’m reading the “share things about yourself’ section from other bloggers who’ve accepted this award, they tend to be brief, leaving me wanting to learn more about them. So I’m going to step out of the box and share in more detail. No pressure on my nominees to do the same, should they accept the VBA.
But it sure would be nice. Just sayin’ 😛
1) I sleep with three pillows. Yes, that’s right — three. I started this necessary habit after having back surgery several years ago. I sleep on my side and putting one pillow between my knees helps to keep my back aligned. The 2nd pillow is used for bracing and snuggling. And of course, the 3rd pillow cradles my neck and head.
2) When I was almost six, I watched a show about a little boy who ran away from home. The boy was Timmy from the Lassie TV series. He encountered lots of adventure and I had to experience this for myself. I didn’t want my parents to worry when they woke up and found me gone, so I told my mom and dad my plans. I was going to run away for an adventure. Surprisingly, they agreed to my earnest request, and even helped me pack my little suitcase (including a brick, without my knowledge) to ensure quick fatigue so I wouldn’t wonder off to far.
I left on my adventure just before dusk. I found an empty lot adjacent to a drive-in theater not far from the house. I kicked back in the lush grass watching the cars drive in and park before the movie started. It occurred to me that I hadn’t had dinner, and the smell of popcorn got my gastric juices flowing. Suddenly I became homesick. As I started to head back home, suitcase in tow, my parents, who had been watching my every move, greeted me with hugs and smiles.
3) I used to sing in a rock band in Washington, DC, doing weekend gigs at ritzy hotel lounges and a few popular night clubs, while working for the government during the week. I was the only female band member, and my fellow band members were incredible artists. There was never any drug use Being in the zone gave us natural highs. Good times.
4) After being hit by a hurricane, which caused catastrophic damage, I went to live with my grandmother (Nana) in Maryland for the school year when I was eleven. One day we visited a friend of Nana’s who lived on a tobacco farm, barn included. Being curious and adventurous, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside the barn. To my delight, I discovered a bird’s nest with sparsely feathered babies. I climbed on to some farm equipment to have a closer look. One baby sparrow became startled, leaped out of the nest, and on to the dirt floor. Unharmed, I picked him up, cradled him gently between my hands, and with unbridled elation ran to the house to show my Nana. She told me the momma bird would most likely reject the little one, detecting a human scent. I pleaded with my Nana to keep him. Thinking he was a she, I named him Lady Bird, and took him home. He loved sitting on my shoulder and roosting in my Nana’s hair when he could get a way with it. He lived a long, happy and very cushy life.
I miss you Lady Bird. ❤
5) Having been an aquarium hobbyist for years, my first entrepreneurial venture was an aquarium set-up, maintenance and aqua-scaping business. Though the business was rewarding, there were some potential hazards involved, like the risk of electrocution or encounters with predatory and/or poisonous fish and anemones. One of my clients had a 50 gallon saltwater tank. It was a designer tall, which meant that I had to use a ladder to siphon debris from the gravel. This required a very long tube which I’d grip just above the water line.
During one of my maintenance visits, a rather large puffer fish latched on to my pinky finger while I was siphoning. Pain radiated throughout my whole body. My initial thought was that I was being electrocuted. Not yet realizing that I had been bitten, I jerked my hand out of the tank with the puffer fish still latched on to my finger. The weight of his body forced him to let go and he fell to the ground, puffed up mightily, and started squealing like a pig. He survived and so did I. After I got over the initial shock and pain, and my client was reassured that I was OK, we laughed ’til we cried.
6) The one and only time I went to the circus, a chimp spit in my face through the cage. 😡
7) When I was nine I almost drowned after getting caught in a current and pulled out quickly, away from the shoreline. I was wearing a white bathing cap, pulled it off and waved it like a flag because no one could hear me calling for help. My older cousin spotted it and rescued me. Oddly enough, that incident didn’t cause me to fear water. Being around water, especially clear, turquoise water, gives me a sense of well being, peace and tranquility. I love being in and around it and dream about it often. I also love snorkeling and scuba diving, but haven’t done it in several years since my move to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The following are my nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award in no particular order:
Colleen at Vintage Book Fairy and Slow Writer Blog. I met Colleen after she commented in one of my articles on my first blog. At that point, I really hadn’t had much comment activity, and her feedback and support really encouraged me to keep posting the research. Colleen is a retired college professor and is pursuing one of her passions. Writing. And a brilliant writer she is. Her posts are descriptive and visual. Right up my alley. Colleen is gifted in her ability to connect with people with realness and warmth. She is a true blue, and no doubt will be a lifelong friend. Colleen, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m so grateful our paths have crossed.
Michelle, at MamaMickTerry. I met Michelle after she left a profoundly moving comment on my vulnerability post. Later that day, I received an email from another dear blogger friend, Christina, speaking very highly of Michelle. Wow, was she spot on. Michelle has a knack for incorporating humor and authenticity in her posts. It takes genius to do that. She spends her days in the scientific/clinical field, and writes as often as she can to rejuvenate her right hemisphere and escape from the slave-like demands of her left hemisphere. Michelle is a beautiful person through and through, and it’s abundantly evident in her posts and comments. Btw, Michelle, I thought you’d be able to relate to this. 😉
Professor at Professor Taboo. Hmmm, how did I meet you Professor? Oh yeah, it was a comment you made on another blog which blew me away, and I had to check out your blog immediately. In that eye-opening comment you eloquently spoke about your concerns with regard to the well being of humanity, and offered possible solutions. I knew straight away I had to get to know you better. Talk about a compassionate heart and a desire to help make this world a better place. The Professor is a gifted teacher working with students who have developmental challenges. The world could use more acutely aware teachers like the Profession. Professor — thank you for caring and for your friendship.
Joshua at Soul Embraces. I met Josh after one of his posts was Freshly Pressed. I was blown away by his awareness regarding the importance of emotional intimacy and connection in all that that entails. One of Josh’s major points of focus on his blog is helping people like himself to transcend some of the obstacles that keep people in isolation from one another. In some of his posts, there were moments when I shouted out “YES!” Josh is a professional writer, but has put his life on hold to take care of his elderly father. He also put his life on hold a few years back to take care of his mother before she passed away in 2011. Josh, you are a remarkable human being, with the gift of articulation.
Vance at Anglophiletoad. Vance, I realize you were recently nominated and accepted the VBA from Madalyn, so like you mentioned in your award post regarding my nomination, had she not nominated you, I certainly would have. Still, I want to share with others how much you, your friendship, and your posts have profoundly affected my life. Several times after reading your posts, emails and comments, I wept. They were tears of validation and healing. You played a major role in helping me find the courage to write my vulnerability post, which as you know, was Freshly Pressed. I feel a connection with you in ways I can’t express in words. We’ve walked similar paths. From the top and bottom of my heart, thank you for making such a huge impact in my life. Vance, you my friend, are one magnificent Toad.