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It’s a new year.
2013
I’m happy to start a new year.
2012 was not one of my favourite years but I don’t wish it away for anything because along with some of the really bad things that happened, a lot of really great things happened.

This year for the first time in my life I am making a New Year’s resolution that I know without a doubt I am going to keep. I promise on my honour for as long as I live, I will never, and I do mean never, move during the Christmas Holidays again. If some insane impulse ever makes me even contemplate this I beg all of you to please slap me upside the head. Do not hold back. Just swing back and wallop me with everything you have got!

Who in their right mind would ever decide to do such a thing? Well, I did find someone else who has done it. Amy over at The Bumble Files had a tale to tell in her A Christmas Journey: Ghost of the Past. I am letting her use the “temporary insanity” card.

craycray

It seemed like a good idea at the time and I was excited about being back in Niagara Falls for Christmas. I had a plan. I was organized. I made gigantic labels for everything so there would be no confusion.

1) STORAGE     2) NIAGARA FALLS     3) DUMP

Niagara Label

Big Labels should have worked.

I had been purging for weeks and thought I had it all figured out. “Ha!” I say, “Ha!”. Let me just say this, the move began Friday Dec. 21st. Never in my wildest imagination of disasters did I picture us having to drive back to Oshawa everyday (including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) except for Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Pieces of furniture were missed that were to go in storage and we were unable to get them in the car so we had to rent a vehicle. A lot of things were missed with the load that went to the dump and the Christmas presents I had carefully labelled with the children’s name that were to receive them and set aside somehow ended up in storage. I hope. Yes, we were the last ones to leave Walmart on Christmas Eve trying to not disappoint a little one. Did I mention that we finally got the winter storms that had been predicted? The driving back and forth was pretty nerve wracking.

We had made arrangements in advance for some temporary measures to be taken both with Canada Post and with our internet provider as this location was not to be our final destination. When it came time to implement these plans all of a sudden we were told, “you can’t do that”. In the panic that ensued (admittedly more from me than from He-Who) tears were shed (yeah, me again) and we had to figure out a new plan. Needless to say we were off-line far too long. Somehow I am no longer getting all the notifications for the blogs I follow. It may take forever and a day to catch up on my reading and commenting but I am trying. If I miss any please forgive me in advance.

That being said I do have to acknowledge some awards bestowed upon me before the big moving fiasco.

Thank you Lisa from Life With The Top Down for “passing forward” the Liebster Award to me and to Meredith at The Wanderlust Gene for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  I have come to admire both these women for their writing and feel that I have come to know them well from our “comment” conversation.  With each award there is always a criteria to follow for passing along the honour so here we go.

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

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

Rules of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  • All recipients need to thank the giver
  • Post 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog

 

I’m going to do a little cheating here and answer the 11 questions Lisa asked me and hopefully you will accept that as the “things about myself” for both awards.

1.  What is you favorite song of all time?

It’s A Wonderful World – has to be Louis singing it.

2.  Boxers, briefs, boy shorts, granny panties, thong or the universal choice of Commando?

Boy Shorts – To be honest it depends on who is doing the wearing.

3.  Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Without thinking twice.

4.  Would you go back to being a teenager, without the wisdom you have now?

I was much wiser as a teenager. Also, I could always use that I was “young and stupid” as an excuse.

5.  What are you most grateful for?

The short period of time I had with my Mother.

6.  Are you a beach or mountain kind of person?

Beach. Beach. Beach.Beach.Beach.Beach

7.  Reveal one of your guilty pleasures?

American Hogger fascinated me.

8.  Are you a dark, milk or white chocolate lover?

I know I will never hear the end of this but I am not a fan of chocolate. Give me butterscotch or caramel. If I had to choose chocolate it would be white.

9.  If you could give a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be kind.

10.  What is your best childhood memory?

Listening to my Mother sing.

11.  Do you act your age or your shoe size?

Neither…lately I have been acting way older than my shoe size.

I am passing forward the Liebster Award to:

Woggins Writing •  Twenty8 • Meredith With Her Mouth Open • There And Back • My Ideal Woman • Vyvacious • Edith Levy Photograpy • Cowboys and Crossbones • Matterings of Mind • Bohemian Sentiments • Personal Perceptions

The 11 questions I have chosen for the above bloggers are …

1) What is your favourite line from a movie?

2) Name three songs you have sung most recently.

3) What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

4) Dog or cat?

5) Name your top five TV shows (past or present)?

6) When you walk with someone you love do you hold hands or link arms?

7) What is the one thing that will bring a smile to your face even on your darkest day?

8) Would you rather walk through a garden or on a beach?

9) Have you ever worn socks with sandals?

10) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

11) Have you ever laughed so hard something embarrassing happens?

Here are my seven nominees for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award:

IfYouNeverTri • Life On A Silva Platter • Words We Women Write • Jean Day Friday • A Londoner From Afar • Articles of Absurdity JavaGirls Life

One other honour I would like to mention is that I was “Freshly Pressed”. Being “Freshly Pressed” is something I think we all would like to happen whether we admit it or not. Le Clown On Fire actually campaigned to have it happen to him. In my case the post that brought me the honour was actually written on another blog I am a part of called Canadica.  It is a collaboration of  a group of American and Canadian bloggers pretty much poking fun at each other’s country. If you are looking for a good laugh I suggest you check it out.

One final thing I would like to mention as we start burning through another year. He-Who has decided that he is no longer “He Who Shall Remain Nameless For His Own Protection” and has taken to calling himself  “He-Who Must Not Be Blamed”. This is going to be an interesting year.

Silk Purse Productions

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Not too long ago I suggested you visit some of my favourite blogs.  One of the blogs I mentioned was Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog by Otto von Münchow.  My admiration for Otto’s  amazing talent has steadily increased with each post. It will come as no surprise how honoured I am to find that Otto has recently nominated me for the “Kreativ Blogger Award”.

“What’s that?”, you say.  Good question. My knowledge of this award, I admit, was…well… OK, I had no knowledge of this, so I figured I had better find out. The nearest I can find out is that it was started in May of 2008 in a post by  a Norwegian woman: Hulda Husfrue .  My understanding is ( it is written in Norwegian and sadly I am not fluent), through various “interpretations”, that it started as a way to congratulate and encourage fellow bloggers on the work they do.  Kind of a “Pay It Forward” for bloggers. These are the most consistant basic rules I have found:Kreativ Blogger Award

  1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
  3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
  4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
  5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
  6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

The most difficult  part for me is the things about me. I am pretty straightforward so there isn’t much about me you don’t already know, so here goes…

– I was once struck by lightening and lived to tell the tale. My only witness was hit as well, so credibility is questionable.

– I have a “thing” about  purses. Some would say, “green purses” but I am not prejudice, I love all colours.

– I am more comfortable wandering around the Las Vegas strip than I am in my own neighbourhood.  (I know… that’s just weird.)

– I love, love, love Irish Wolfhounds and have wanted one since I met a redheaded one named Rocky at an Irish Festival many years ago.

– Vampire stories are my favourite.

– I am addicted to Hawkins Cheezies and have had to partake in rehab for that.

– A simple act of kindness can make me weep like a baby.

My Nominations Are:

Many thanks, Otto, for nominating me. I am honoured.

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There it is again.
During a call home, my husband let me know that he had mentioned (yet again) to someone that they should read my blog. My Paul has to be my biggest fan. He is encouraging, he is proud and (sometimes to my great discomfort) he is a totally unbiased, harsh editor. But he often recommends my musings to people.

This is the part that snapped my head back a bit…
“I told her you were usually funnier, but …”
Excuse me? Was he apologizing for me? Yes, it was an innocent comment not meant with any kind of malice. However, the only thing that caused him to narrowly miss being locked out when he got home and having to deal with the wrath of “M” when he finally got in was that it wasn’t the first time I had heard it. In fact, truth be told, I myself recently wrote a comment to someone that said they might enjoy some of my previous posts more. (The nerve of me!)

Upon further review I have to admit, I have had a pretty sobering and somber year of blogging. Understandably so, as I had a pretty sobering and somber year. Let’s see, there was death, disease, job loss, and let’s not forgot moving far enough away that homesickness is now my best friend. But enough is enough. When people start making excuses for you not being amusing any more there is an indication that some witty repartee is in order. It is definitely time to lighten up.

I decided to search for some inspiration, where else but the internet. It has been a while since I have actively searched out new blogs to read. There are several that I follow and read faithfully. One of my first is still one of my favourites. Writer Dad  by Sean Platt (and now his wife Cindy posts as well). When I first read “Wrapping the Morning Glories”  it effected me so much that I knew I would be reading this man’s work in a big way for the rest of my life. He did not disappoint. He has gone on to write several books in a very wide range, including Children’s books — Syllable Soup (which I read even though I don’t have kids), Four Seasons, an intricately woven novel of how people effect each other, A horror novel, Available Darkness, (which I devoured) and a thriller serial series, Yesterday’s Gone (which I can never get enough of). Both of these were written with his writing partner, David Wright. Sean has also written “how to” books such as, Writing Online, and 100 Blog Post Ideas That Work. This guy can make me laugh, cry and want to sleep with the light on. How versatile is that? Yeah, I’m his number 1 fan, but not in a creepy, Kathy Bates/Misery kind of way.

I got lost. That’s right, I got lost in the internet. I have spent countless hours searching out new blogs, reading new blogs and loving new blogs! I made a point of reading at least two posts from each blog I found to give them a fair chance. Then there were the ones I couldn’t stop reading. The ones that I felt compelled to read post after post because … well, I just couldn’t stop. Here are a few:
Verena Fischer loves to Tango. In fact she has a blog about just that, Te quiero tango!  However, it is her other blog that I found through this one that has me captivated. Experiments In Experience (one day at a time). With Experiments in Experience Verena has made a commitment to take photos every day and share one of them on this blog. She is a gifted photographer who is able to make every day scenes into art, and the words she chooses to share only enhance the image. I love seeing her surroundings through her eyes … every day.

Lesley Carter is the Queen of Adventure and has the blog to prove it! Lesley Carter – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences  has me holding my breath and my heart at the same time as I read each exciting adventure one after another. Whether it is bungee jumping, rock climbing, caving, white water rafting , paragliding, swimming with beluga whales or sky diving, Lesley takes you along for the ride as she tells her tales with all the shock and awe she experiences. All accompanied by the most stunning photographs. I have been living vicariously through her since I discovered her blog…well, maybe not the part where she flew through the air on a trapeze in her wedding gown.

Java Girl says she blogs about random things in her daily life or anything that catches her eye at the moment. What caught my eye were the things she found interesting enough to make it to her blog, Java Girl’s Life  She hooked me in with Race You To The Bottom Of the Pool  (seriously, stop reading right now and check out the shots of this place … just don’t forget to come back). She kept me fascinated with her Magical Little Hotel in Chile and had me browsing through her archives with Some Cool Sand Sculptures  and Jason Taylor’s Underwater Sculptures . She is clever, witty, charming, emotional and really hard to stop reading.

Linda Jeffers Photography Blog struck a personal note with her stunning post A Photo Shoot of Women Experiencing Hair Loss As A Result Of Chemotherapy. Been there done that and wish someone had thought of this sooner.

Perhaps my favourite new blog is that of  Otto von Münchow. I got caught up on one of his websites (both are worth having a look at,  Otto von Münchow & Blue Hour Photo Workshops) checking out his portfolio when I stumbled onto his blog, Munchow’s Creative Photo Blog. His visuals are stunningly striking and quite frankly often take my breath away. However, the accompanying story with the insight into the photographs is gripping.

I know that is more than a few, but I guarantee each and every one is worth your checking them out. Hopefully they can inspire you the way they have inspired me. I would love to know what you think of them.
Oh, and I promise to lighten up a little.

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Tom Lucas

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