The Versatile Blogger Award-Thanks!


versatile blogger award

In April, Berryduchess nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. I accepted but I failed to follow through with my part when my schedule went crazy with work demands, a family emergency and a vacation. Now, I am at a place where I can sit down to do this (now that I remembered I it).

So first of all, thank you Berryduchess. I am honored that you have noticed my blog and nominated me. I have always enjoyed your posts as they are filled with some great writing and humor. I have laughed to tears and nearly cried at some of your posts. If you have not seen her blog, go check it out and follow. You won’t be disappointed.

If you are not familiar with the Versatile Blogger Award, don’t feel alone. I wasn’t either. I searched the reader and looked at a few people’s blog posts on this. One blogger, Predestined30, had a good summary of it. “The Versatile Blogger Award is for the blogs that bring special talents to life. In choosing nominees, the quality of the writing is considered, the uniqueness of the topics presented, and the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. An added quality of authenticity to the photographs is evident through the field of vision.” (Now that I quoted them, I better check out their page!)

I am not sure if I meet all those elegant descriptions, but hey, who am I to judge if people think I am better than I believe myself to be, lol.

With accepting the award, comes some action on my part. So here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their blogs to let them know you nominated them.

Facts about me:

  1. I own a horse. I was obsessed with horses as young girl. And finally, as an adult, I just went and got one. I didn’t know a lot about them really, other than I liked them, but I am figuring it out as I go. Fortunately, my quarter horse mare, Daisy, has great patience with me.
  2. I am an Army Reserve Soldier who has deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. This “part time” job is a life commitment and it NOT one weekend a month if you have any level of responsibility. It requires a great amount of dedication and personal time to stay “ready” but I wouldn’t change my past for anything.
  3. I adore purple. My horse has a purple winter coat, saddle blanket, halter and lead rope. I have many purple items myself: clothes, phone cover, purse, calendar, jewelry and some home decor trinkets. I do draw the line at purple cars and homes though. That is a bit too much. However, I LOVE the smell of lavender. Not sure that’s a coincidence or that even my nose loves purples.
  4. I am addicted to butter-cream frosting and avocados. (Not together of course. That would just be weird.) And addicted is not too strong of a word. If those things are in front of me, it is hard for me to not eat them, even when I am full.
  5. I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in a true love/soul mate even though I have not met him yet. I tend to be a passionate person. I dance in the rain. I sing obnoxiously in my car (and not well mind you). I love small and big gestures of love (little notes left in the car and surprise, no-reason trips). I am happy hiking and then going to a symphony. My soul mate would like these things too and have just as much zest for life as I do. And, he will be my best and most faithful friend.
  6. I don’t make friends quickly, but when I do, they tend to stay my friends for life. I just recently made a trip with my best friend from high school (we met in 5th grade). And she got meet some of my Army friends who I deployed to Iraq with in 2006. Having those two groups of friends meet was pretty darn cool I have to say.
  7. I enjoy a wide array of music. From country to rap to classical, I like it all and will dance in my kitchen when it’s on. Some of my favorite artists are: Pink, Eminem, Kenny Chesney, Hoodie Allen, Lindsey Stirling, Bach, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, Hoobastank, Mike Comfort, Flo Rida, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Mozat….That’s normal, isn’t it?

Other bloggers I enjoy reading:

From Balderdash to Epiphany

He always makes me laugh with his humorous poems!

Coolquilting  

Wonderful pictures and many have an abstract-artsy wonder to them.

The World is a Book…

So many great photos that have made me stop in awe.

Serins Sphere

She has everything from blogging tips to poems to stories. A must read blog:)

Aperture64 

Ben is like the Obi Wan of cameras. He gives step by step instructions on how to do very specific things. I always learn something from him.

Meanings and Musings

Florence speaks from the heart and I like it. She writes poems, commentary and deep-thought pieces.

Cee’s Photography  

Cee hosts a number of challenges that cover photography as well as writing. I am not even sure how she manages them all but I just adore her page.

Serendipity

Marilyn Armstrong’s page is quite witty. I love her humor and upfront posts. She also takes some great photos. She is definitely versatile!  (And her blog name happens to be the title of one of my favorite movies.)

Ronovan Writes

Ronovan got me addicted to writing haikus. Funny because I don’t even remember haikus from the poetry class in high school. But here he has got me hooked and writing a haiku a week. Ronovan does more than poetry though. He writes a variety things that are very thought provoking. He even does interviews with other bloggers, book reviews and more that I haven’t even seen yet I am sure.

Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist

Julie never ceases to amazing me with her photos and Photoshop skills! Wow is one of my standard comments when I see her work.

Captivate Me    

Robyn is the host of the One Four Challenge, which I adore and am addicted to. Her photography is quite magical and her blog should be on a must have list for follows.

Cardinal Guzman

What a great photographer! He has endless amazing shots, some humorous stories and I just noticed…some recipes on his blog. He is also the host of the Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons.   This challenge has made me go out each month to find new shots and be a little less antisocial.

Lens and Pens by Sally  

Sally is one of the first few blogs I found when I started on WordPress. She writes some wonderful posts that are inspiring and make me think. She is also the host of the Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. I am always taking pictures but not always with my “real” camera. Sally’s Challenge lets me share my countless life-on-the-go phone pics and challenges me to add some writing to them as well.

Nancy Merrill Photography

Nancy posts some terrific photos that are classic and elegant in every way. She is a true artist with a camera. She also hosts A Photo a Week Challenge, which has a different theme each week.

Photos by Emilio  

Emilio takes some great photos and always seems to add a funny story about what was going on when taking them. As a fellow photographer, I like this.

Visual Venturing

Stacy is the host of the After Before Friday Forum, which is how I found Stacy’s fun page. She posts some wonderful shots and shows steps on how to do some editing. Her challenge is about showing the before and after shots of editing your own photo. But once a month, all the photographers in the forum will edit the same photo (from one of the forum members). It’s great to see the variety of editing from all the contributors. Stacy and her group have been so nice and welcoming. I am glad to have found them. 🙂

Phew! That took a bit of time to put together.

So now the ball in your court followers. Go check out my favorite bloggers. If you happen to be one of my favorite bloggers, feel free to accept your nomination. If you don’t do them, no worries. I completely understand and will not stop following because of it. 🙂 You are stuck with me.

Who am I and Why am I Here?


Back in elementary school, I wrote my first two “books.” The assignment for a young author’s day was to complete an illustrated book. I could not choose between topics, so I wrote two. One book was about a girl with telekinesis and the other was about a flying horse. Now, some 30-plus years later, I still do not have a flying horse, super powers or any published books, so I figured; I may as well start chasing my dreams and begin writing.

I am not sure how I could spell telekinesis back then or how I even heard of it, but it (and flying horses) inspired me to begin to write and dream. Through writing, I was free and alive.

As the years passed, I continued to write short stories, journals and poems, but writing was never a full-time affair. It was always pushed the side for things like homework, cheerleading practice, boys and social events.

I completed my journalism degree, but it was on the extended 10-year plan due to a full-time retail job, a hard marriage and wonderful kids. Therefore, yet again, writing took a back seat to life with bills, children and responsibilities.

The only time writing took any kind of lead, was in my decision to join the military. After completing my journalism degree, I could not afford to take an entry-level job. In 2000, my journalism job offers were about $12,000 less than my retail management position. Taking that big of pay cut just to do what I wanted, would have been selfish and irresponsible. Consequently, I signed the dotted line. The way I saw it, joining the Army Reserve was one way for me to actually do any form of journalism and still pay the bills.

Nearly 14 years later, I am still a Soldier, a mom, and happily NOT working in retail nor in an unhappy marriage. Everything in life seems to be pulling me back to where I should have been long ago. I am finding the me that I lost in my 20s when I was trying to hold on to everything that was wrong for me. I suppose stubborn naive youth made me keep clinging to stuff that was slowly killing me (miserable jobs, despondent marriage, unhealthy habits, limited ‘me’ time).

Now older and wiser, I realize that life is short. I need to hurry up and do the things I want to do before I run out of time. I must stop making excuses to live because in doing so I am not really living anyway. I have to release the thoughts in my head as they never cease in bombarding my waking moments. I want to express the passion I feel and yet still crave to find. I should at least attempt the items on that unwritten bucket list so I have no regrets. I am obliged to show my kids that life will not wait for your situation to be perfect.

So ready or not, here I am, on a blog. Blogging is my path to find that little author inside of me. By writing more often, I hope to find my stories, and myself. Frankly, my topics on here will vary. I will write about whatever is on my mind. It may be a story from my past, a make-believe adventure in my head, or vent about a pet peeve. Along the way, I may entertain people or bore them into a blissful nap, but either way, I will not continue to be afraid to start nor make excuses on why I cannot. I will take each day to chase those dreams, and ultimately, find my life.

*This was my first assignment for Blogging 101. It seemed to be a bit harder to write on an assigned topic, but yet, made me realize why I chose the name for my blog in the first place. There’s irony for you.

I must write and here I go


I keep saying I am going to write and never do. Yet, all these words constantly bombard my head. The thoughts range from my family to my work or to my never-ending to-do list. Then the next moment, I might be thinking about something from a deployment or why the driver in front of me was ever given a license? (Seriously, who thinks crossing four lanes at 80 mph is a safe option!) Or if my mind is really wandering, I may think about the bucket list I need to create or the dramatic romance stories I say I will write (that will of course not reflect any real people, places or events in my life in order to protect the innocent). I wonder about religion, grammar rules, and why can’t I find the perfect Christmas cookie recipe to save my life?

At times, it is very loud and random in my head and I want it to stop. I embrace the quiet moments where I am just sitting and enjoying absolute silence. It is when I am at peace. But given a moment of quiet, while I sit and enjoy the world around me, I will notice how the light hits something and immediately start thinking of how that would make a great picture.

Yes, it is utterly exhausting in my head at times. So therefore, I must write. I may write about complete and utter nonsense that no one on the face of the earth will care to read, but frankly, I simply do not care. I need to write. I need to free these thoughts. (It is getting a bit crowded in my head with all this thinking going on.)

So here I go. Feel free to enjoy the journey. It may not make sense. It may not always be grammatically correct. Or it may not be interesting at all, but it’s a start – my start.