Ms. Vegan Manners

Hello Sweet Readers!

Let me introduce myself! I am publicly  known as Ms Vegan Manners but my full name is Vivienne De La Choux. You, Sweet Readers, may call me Vivi! (In case you aren’t sure about that, let me ease your discomfort by explaining you would pronounce that “vee vee.”)

VIVI

Today I’d like to talk to you about the awkward situation in which we find our desire to impart our vegan wisdom on another for whom we care is met with resistance, rebuttal and downright rudeness.

Firstly may I say, Sweet Readers, that the subject of how one eats and what food one chooses can very quickly become controversial and even political. You might consider this before deciding to tell your co-workers, dear friends and family that they are incorrect in their food choices. My oh my! That can become a heated argument faster than you can say, “tofutti!”

Think for a moment about all the scuttlebutt surrounding GMO’s, animal rights, local organic vs factory farming! As you certainly well know, food—being a core component of staying alive—is a subject that is much protected and defended by vested interests. Is your beloved “student” really ready to hear that corn on the cob is probably not a good idea unless it’s organic? Or that cheapest possible price for their weekly groceries is not necessarily the most economical in the long run?

And besides, we all know what an emotional subject food can be and it can be a medical subject as well. So many of us are turning to food choices and dietary education so we might remain healthy and active in our lives. And bless them, there are those who are successfully recovering from serious illness by changing their eating  habits.

And then there are the weight-loss diets. Let’s not even go there! Do Not, Sweet Readers, Do Not open the door to the topic of diet at your next luncheon or business brunch where there may be Paleos and McDougall enthusiasts together in the same room!

The answer to all these dilemmas lies in simply having good manners and setting a good example. By this I mean, in your personal relations and social interchanges, you consider the viewpoint and feelings of the other person as well as helpfully and politely assert your own when the time is right.

Accentuate the positive, as they say!

Most of the time, when people learn you are vegan, they have questions and you sometimes find you are answering the same questions over and over again. Realize, Sweet Readers, that the questioners are mainly curious probably because they have already heard elsewhere or realized themselves that their own eating habits are sorely lacking or possibly harmful to them.

This is the time when you should assume the best about these questions and try to answer them in the best way possible. What is obvious and common knowledge to you, may not be for the innocent questioner. Don’t take these questions as an invalidation of your lifestyle.

GORILLA

Here are a few more tips about discussing your vegan eating habits:

1. You are not required to entertain snide comments from anyone about the type of food you eat.  Just smile and walk away or if you must converse with this person, try changing the subject. Letting yourself be pulled into an argument with such people will only pull you down.

2. When going to social functions where there may not be many good food choices for you, eat ahead of time.  After all, Sweet Readers, aren’t we in much better moods when we’re well-fed? You will be less likely to feel un-accommodated if you are not starving. Instead, enjoy the party and make new friends! This is not the right time to let your host or hostess know that the food they are serving their guests is unhealthy, not supportive of environmental well-being or wrought with evil intentions to kill off the pet cow.

3. When hosting guests yourself, be thoughtful in your menu planning. Either ask someone else to bring non-vegan food if you yourself will not prepare it, or choose some dishes that could be very satisfying for anyone whether they are vegan or not.  And this brings me to the next point which is very important . . .

4. For goodness sake learn to cook! There are thousands of cookbooks and blogs such as this one centered upon vegan and whole foods cooking and there are even a couple of television cooking shows you can watch. The more you invest in learning how to prepare tasty food, the better off you and your friends and family will be. A wise cooking teacher once said to me that the most delicious food in the world will also be the most healthy.

Just remember, Sweet Readers, good manners will take you very far in whatever you are seeking to do and a very good teacher is one who not only has good manners her/his self but who also teaches others to be mannerly as well.

[Prompted by today’s WordPress Daily Prompt which asks: What Makes a Teacher Great?]

  1. The Boy Who Had No Ears | Godrick Gnomish
  2. Daily Prompt: Greatness | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
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  4. S. Thomas Summers | I, As Your Teacher…
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  11. Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught! – GREATNESS | SERENDIPITY
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  14. Daily Prompts: We can be taught | Lux
  15. My Teachers | Kate Murray
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  18. Daily Prompt: We can be taught! | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl
  19. what a teacher shouldn’t be | like a fleeting wind…
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  22. We Can Be Taught! | Kansa Muse on Micro Farming and More
  23. Daily Prompt: Greatness – US Naval Aircraft Carriers in World War II | USS Hornet (CV-12)-A Father’s Untold War Story
  24. Grace is a Teacher | A Teacher’s Blog from Land’s End
  25. Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught! | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  26. Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown: We can be taught! | lifebeinggirly
  27. Dearest Teachers… | Imagineer @ Work
  28. I Can Learn | Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness
  29. Inspiration and Education! | alienorajt
  30. Daily Prompt: Great Teachers/Staying in Focus: Passion Plays a Part | Staying in Focus
  31. Perfect Teacher. | ayimas
  32. The One with the Monk | Jackie Cangro
  33. We Can Be Taught, Most You Should Do Is Try! | amateurxpress
  34. Daily Prompt; We Can Be Taught | terry1954
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  43. One Starving Activist
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  45. What makes a teacher great; an experiment… | Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Exactly? I don’t know.
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  47. Strutting My Stuff… | Haiku By Ku
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  52. The Giant Electronic Frog With Pink Lips. Alan’s Story. | Janey Macken Street!
  53. What Makes a Teacher? | loveletterstoaghost
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  55. Daily Post: the elements which make a great teacher… | storyofmylife1993
  56. Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught! 21|9 | Family, Photos, Food & Craft
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  58. A great teacher | Rock it classy
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  62. Daily Prompt Challenge – We Can Be Taught | soletusknow
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I love . . .

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompts:  Party Animals? asks:  After spending time with a group of people, do you feel energized and ready for anything or do you want to hide in the corner with a good book?

I Love

I love a good party ’cause I love to talk.

I love to talk ’cause then I can get you talking.

I love to get you talking ’cause I love listening.

I love listening to you ’cause I love having you in my life if only for an hour or two.

I love having you in my life ’cause I love hearing about what you are having in your life.

I love hearing about your life ’cause I love that you’ll share your adventures with me.

I love that you’ll share your adventures with me ’cause I love knowing about you.

I love knowing about you ’cause I love finding out what we have in common.

I love finding out what we have in common ’cause I love feeling connected with you.

I love feeling connected with you ’cause I also love seeing what is different about us.

I love seeing how we’re different ’cause I love understanding you my sister and my brother.

I love understanding you ’cause that is one of life’s great joys.

Understanding is one of life’s great joys ’cause then we can feel kinship and friendship.

I love feeling kinship and friendship ’cause that way, whatever we’re doing, it’s going to be a beautiful time.

I love having a beautiful time with you ’cause that is my kind of richness.

I love that kind of richness ’cause it even makes doing the dishes after the party okay with me.

I don’t love doing the dishes though.

But it’s okay if you’re there and we’re talking.

That I love.

I’ll wash, you dry.

Unwashed dishes in a sink; an authentic situation.

I’ll wash, you dry.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

  1. 21 july Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) | family photos food & craft
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  6. Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) | Chicomallorca’s Blog
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  8. ‘Tis Not Something You Ask An Introvert | Black and White Heart
  9. Party Animal with Social Anxiety | Tony’s Texts
  10. Daily Prompt: Party Animals | suzie81’s Blog
  11. A Daily Prompt Poem: Personality « Vicariously Poetic
  12. Which Party Known By | clarior e tenebris
  13. Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) « The Blogging Path
  14. The After Party Diner (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
  15. Party Animals (?): Who Was She? | Khana’s Web
  16. Daily Prompt: About Last Night… | In diesen Augenblick
  17. Daily Prompt: Party Animals, aka me vs. going out | printed cats
  18. Party Animals (Sonet) | Liars, Hypocrites & The Development of Human Emotion
  19. Daily Prompt: Hiding After Midnight | Creative Mysteries
  20. Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) – AND THE PARTY GOES ON AND ON | LADYBOY PROMPT
  21. Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) « Mama Bear Musings
  22. There are two sides to the coin | tornin2’s Blog
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  28. Pup Party… | Haiku By Ku
  29. Philosophy of Friendship|Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis and Me
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  36. I love . . . | mycookinglifebypatty
  37. Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?) | My Endless Rants & Ramblings
  38. Party Hard | Daily Prompt: Party Animals? | Catherine B.’s Blog
  39. Party Animals (?) | The Nameless One
  40. Depression and party not a good company | Life is great

Does Claude Have Spring Fever?

I want to thank Claude for the wonderful interview he did. He really helped me a lot with those award nominations!

In case you don’t know who Claude is, here’s a picture of him relaxing at home.

It is me, Claude.

It is me, Claude.

And now it seems Claude has been inspired to speak up after almost a year. (I suspect he may be inspired by his latest crush, Flat Kathy!) I’m so glad he’s back! Since you all seemed to like Claude’s interview so much I thought I’d share the  short fiction he wrote for the WordPress Daily Prompt today.

http://itismeclaude.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/daily-prompt-the-clock/

Inspired to Make a List

Inspiration to set a goal can happen anywhere.

Inspiration to set a goal can happen anywhere. (Photo credit: Patty Allread)

I was thinking about lists–such as shopping lists.  Sometimes when I shop for groceries I use a list and sometimes I go free-wheeling through the aisles picking out whatever strikes my fancy. We all know how that can turn out, especially if you’re hungry while food shopping! You might eat all the free samples and end up buying nothing particularly useful or you might discover things that you’d never have put on your list and end up with the makings for a fresh, fabulous feast.

There are all kinds of lists! Each reflects a slightly different character.

BUCKET LIST

Morbid. This is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Not my kind of list. I’m not planning for my death, I’m planning for my life! You won’t catch me making any bucket lists as a premise for fulfilling my dreams.

BLACK LIST

Nasty. I cannot condone black lists because each of us has the basic human right not to be discriminated against–including bucket-listers..

HIT LIST

This could be one of two things.

  • Antagonistic. What are you the Mafia? Get a breath of fresh air or take a walk. Sit down and relax. Try developing a more positive viewpoint about getting things done.
  • Admiration. As in your top ten list of favorites. This list can be a lot of fun to make and it’s fun to see what others have experienced and put on their top ten.

CONTACT LIST

Broad. Action pending. It’s everyone you know in a certain category or maybe there is no category and it’s simply everyone you know! It’s fun to grow this list as it shows an expanding zone of influence or reach. And it can go two ways: people you add to your list or people who add you to theirs–like the list of people who follow or subscribe to your blog. (That is a very cool list!)

GUEST LIST

Narrowed down. Put into motion. These are the people you know that you want to know better or become closer friends with. So you’re going to invite them to share an important moment with you or just have fun with you!

TO-DO LIST

Conservative. Nothing wrong with having a list of things to get done. Love checking things off a to-do list! Sometimes you don’t want to rely on being strictly spontaneous so you make this list. The to-do list might show a sequence of actions or it could be completely disjointed.

CHRISTMAS LIST

  • Wish list Hope for the future if it is your wish list!  But it also implies you’re hoping someone else will deliver the goods. Of course, there are those of us who have no problem whatsoever with gifting ourselves every once in a while!
  • Gift list If it is your list for presents you intend to give others, then there is a whole sub-scale here that runs from obligated-to-exchange-with-these-people, to keep-the-budget-in-mind, to wow-it-would-be-so-cool-to-get-them-this-I-just-have-to-work-out-how-to-pull-it-off!

GROCERY/SHOPPING LIST

In control. It could be that you have made a decision to achieve certain goals diet-wise, cooking-wise (like a goal to learn how to make the world’s best dark chocolate mousse), budget-wise, production-wise, etc. You plan what you’ll need to achieve the goal and you also plan to avoid procuring things that don’t help you achieve that goal. Or it could be that you are economizing your time by not forgetting something vital which would cause you to have to return to the store. So you’re armed with a list!

BATTLE PLAN

Clear intentions. Speaking of being “armed,” a battle plan is so much more than a list. It is a reflection of strategic planning directed at meeting a goal. You’ve got your goal, you’ve worked out what it would take to get there, and now you are laying out your tactics–step-by-step–using your battle plan.

NO LIST

Create as you go, moment-to-moment. No itinerary, no agenda, no deadline. Play it by ear. Improvise.

Make it a game and this can be awesome fun and adventure.

Make it a lifetime philosophy and you can find yourself in total apathy with nothing achieved ever.

My Recipe

Convert your Wish List into a list of your Goals, sifting out any Bucket or Black Lists.

Make your overall Battle Plan and incorporate your To-Do, Shopping or Grocery Lists and gently knead.

Continue kneading, liberally adding Contacts.

Keep your Contact List Dough warm, letting it rise. Contacts may double or triple in size. You do this by offering gifts such as visiting, smiling, responding, and being an encouraging friend.

No need most of the time to put these into a Gift List except for Christmas or Birthdays. But a variation could include helping a Contact with an Item on one of their Lists.

Roll out your Guest List and bring your people together.  Find out how they are doing, what they’ve been doing, what they’ve put on their Hit List (the admiration kind)

Use the No-List method according to preference throughout, but not all the time.

If you start to feel apathetic or unproductive, go back to your Battle Plan. This is the time to use the other kind of Hit List and change anything that doesn’t work well for you.

Let us know how it all bakes out!

It’s a Wonderful Blog

Christmastime

Christmastime in Golden, Colorado (Photo credit:  Patty Allread)

Time to bring back an old Christmas favorite!  You know the story, don’t you?

THE DEDICATED & HARDWORKING SMALL-TIME BLOGGER

Hard-working blogger has big lifelong dreams of becoming a famous writer and traveling the world promoting her bestselling books, etc.  But for now she is just a good-natured, regular blogger who pounds on her keyboard at home and puts her contributions out into the ether for her blogging community to find.  She also reads what her friends blog about and faithfully offers comments of encouragement and tries to help those friends get more blogging hits.

But sometimes she gets lonely.  Sometimes she thinks the blogging world can do just fine without her.  And sometimes she doesn’t sit down at her computer and write anything at all.  And sometimes . . . well, recently . . . she thought, “I’m not sure if I should even renew my domain name.  No one reads my stuff anyway.”

And she stopped blogging.

MEET EDITH

This is the part where the guardian angel comes in.  In this case, it’s Edith Elizabeth Norton Pheffleneuson and she’s a very dedicated muse who is trying hard to earn her angel wings.  You can just call her “Edith.”

Edith has been hanging around ever since our hapless blogger started writing.  Way, way back when there weren’t any computers and writing required actual typewriting and there were no “delete” keys.  Man oh man.  Back then if a writer made a mistake or wanted to change something, she had to use correction tape or white out or start over.  And over.  And over. That made musing a very tough business!

If it weren’t for Edith, our writer might have given up totally.  But Edith pulled her through every time.  At first our writer didn’t have a clue that Edith existed.  Then one day, friend Martha tried to show her that Edith really does exist!  But our writer didn’t believe in Edith.  Not really.

Poor Edith.  It would be impossible for Edith to earn her wings if the writer in her charge did not believe.  Edith felt like an old worn eraser stuck away in someone’s desk drawer and forgotten about. In fact that’s exactly where she was stuck for many years.

THE POWER OF MUSES

The months rolled on with no new posts and now it was Christmastime.  There were no new followers of the blog.  No new comments.  No new ideas written about.  Our protagonist’s blogging future was bleak indeed!

However the Christmas Season was calling and the least our writer could do was write some Christmas cards.  That would be okay.  Rifling through the desk drawers to find the cards, the red and green gel pens and some stamps, our writer spotted Edith lying beneath a ragged half-empty package of AA batteries.  Beautiful, clever, inspiring Edith!

Edith leapt out of the drawer and dove into a nearby wastebasket!  It was a desperate but brave move.  Edith floundered in the rolling, rough sea of paper and cardboard coffee cups calling out, “Help! Help!” hoping our writer would save her.

Our writer reached into the icy sea of trash and pulled Edith out, not realizing that Edith was really an angel.  Edith explained to our girl that she needed help to earn her wings and she would show our blogger what life would have been like without mycookinglifebypatty. No stories about cherished cooking memories.  People dying from eating so much sugar.  Coffee Man a completely unknown superhero. Claude Mouse homeless, forgotten and unappreciated. No new recipes.  No newly inspired cooks.  No new blogging friends.  No new pen pal.

With a sudden infusion of fresh inspiration and a new lease on blogging (literally–domain name paid for another year) our writer rushed to her keyboard and wrote a new post.  And then another one, and another one, and another one!  It was a flurry of blogging and cooking the likes of which our dear writer had not experienced in a long, long time.  And it was joyous!

And it was a wonderful blog.  Immediately upon publishing the first new post, family, friends, fellow bloggers and pen pal gathered around the Christmas tree singing carols and enjoying the warmth and love and hope of the season.  And remember–this very second, with the click of the mouse and this brand new post published . . . . .

“Every time a blogger publishes a new post, a blog angel gets her wings!”

Edith Elizabeth Norton Pheffleneuson earns her wings.

Edith Elizabeth Norton Pheffleneuson earns her wings while serving miso soup.

Playing Favorites

I think of blogs as the Internet version of reality TV only better.

You have all sorts of possible scenarios as the basis for the blogs and you have hundreds of thousands of cast members, contestants or participants all sharing their particular “slice of life.”  Some are informative, some are poetic, some are humorous, some are visually stunning, some are boat-rocker.  And some are the commercials.

We get to choose which ones we’re willing to spend time looking at.  Which ones entertain us?  Just like reality TV, some are 100% disgustingly moronic and you would never be caught dead reading them, yet others love them!  And some are so well-loved they become national favorites.

(Luckily, unlike reality TVwe can blog away to our heart’s content whether anyone else likes it or not!)

No matter what the reality of the blog is, there is always a common denominator that each one must include:  words and/or pictures that pull you in, get you to “watch,” and usually let you vote, “like” and even comment (can’t do that on TV reality shows!)

You can discover these hidden gems by surfing the Internet or surfing the WordPress topics bar.  But the best way to find great blogs is by “Word of Keyboard.” This is when a blogger writes about or recommends the wonderful blogs that they enjoy.  And often there is an award involved.

Thank you so much, Amy, for sending the One Lovely Blog Award my way!  I think your Afternoon Popcorn Snack is exceptional.  Just the other day I marveled at your Watermelon and Fresh Basil Margarita recipe.  I don’t drink margaritas but I’ve got to try this because it sounds so so good!  And thank you for the wonderful recommendations for other great blogs to check out—that is a prize in itself.

The terms of the One Lovely Blog award are the usual:

*thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post
*share 7 things about yourself
*nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire
*contact your chosen bloggers to let them know

Okay, here are my seven things:

1.  I know the true identity of Coffee Man.  (Check back on Wednesday when I reveal that.) 2.  I fantasize about being a female vocalist in a band yet I rarely sing in front of anyone.     3.  I think Daniel Craig is giving Sean Connery a run for his money for being the best 007.

Daniel Craig on a yacht in Venice during a bre...

Daniel Craig on a yacht in Venice during a break in filming Casino Royale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4.  I listen to an AM Oldies station in the car because I know the words to those songs and  yes, I do sing them.  Out loud.                                                                                                 5.  I am a founding member of a sorority my college friends and I made up in our freshman year.  (Phi Gamma Tau only it was spelled Fi Gamma Tau and the motto was “Anything for a Fi”) There were five members.                                                                                       6.  I love garlic and I advise that anyone around me can protect themselves by simply eating lots of garlic also.                                                                                                         7. I make up games and get other people to play them with me.

BONUS #8.  Half the time I am completely baffled about how to control the formatting on this thing. (Well, that’s no secret, is it?)

And the One Lovely Blog Award (interpret “lovely” any way you like)  goes to:

An Unrefined VeganIllustrated BitesA Real Food Lover,  Inspiring Healthy Living, Seed to SaladTimor-Leste ImagesCalliope’s TabletThe Daily Bubble Tea,  VeggiewitchJade Aestas,  Homemade DelishCaptain Decibel,  Go Guilty PleasuresAlaskan Dreams, Icky Yucky MuckyBy the Sea

It’s Gonna Be a Bright, Bright Sunshinin’ Day

I think blogging takes a lot of guts!

On the one hand you are the writer, editor, sometimes the photographer, the graphic designer, the marketing director and, of course, the publisher of your own work.  So exciting!  On the other hand, you start out with a blank space that says, “Add New Post” and you are the one that is going to express a viewpoint, tell a joke, reveal your innermost thoughts or even—(what nerve!)—suggest what other people should do, say, eat, cook, etc.

At some point you have to press “Publish” and from there you have no idea who you are actually communicating to.  Is someone out there?  Are they listening?  Are they interested?  And why do you need them to be interested anyway?

Well there’s a little thing that make makes a communication complete called “Acknowledgement.”  It’s all well and good to write what you want to say and put it out there.  But when someone graciously takes the time to comment, “like,” or otherwise respond–B I N G O!  A communication happened!

Isn’t it great when that happens?!

Today Big Sis and Little Sis over at My Sister’s Pantry sent me a wonderful acknowledgment by nominating me for The Sunshine Award.  I recently “met” these two ladies and love what they’re doing.  They are two sisters who live several hundred miles away from each other and they have found co-writing their blog as an activity they can do together.  I love that!  And I thoroughly enjoy their wonderful recipes and cooking ideas.

Thank you Big Sis and Little Sis for the acknowledgement!  And now I’m excited to pass the “Sunshine” along on this beautiful and sunny May Day.

The Sunshine Award is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”  Awardees are asked to:

1. Thank the person who nominated them for the award and post a blog about it.

2. Answer a few get-to-know-you-better questions about themselves.

3. Nominate ten other bloggers for the award and link to their blogs and let them know about their award.

In the spirit of letting you know more about me, here are my answers to the questions:

Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Animal(s): Otters, foxes, centaurs, whales, ants, unicorns, turtles, picas
Favorite Number: 27 (You guessed it!  I was born on the 27th.)
Favorite Drink: Pellegrino sparkling water with lime
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook (Well actually, I still like to write regular snail-mail letters on  fun stationery.)
Your Passion: Scientology                                                                                              Giving or getting presents: Who doesn’t love both of these?  Yes – I love both of these!  Favorite Day: My wedding anniversary and any day I can spend with my wonderful husband.

It was not so easy picking ten from all the bloggers I love and read!  Without further adieu, I hereby nominate The Sunshine Award to:

I hope you’ll check all these blogs out.  Sharing an award like this is a great way to discover new bloggers and expand your circle of friends (the best part).

I Love Meeting New Friends

A flower from a bouquet at the Eastern Market ...

A flower from a bouquet at the Eastern Market in DC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My love affair with blogging continues .  The other day I hit a highest ever number of viewers for my post.  I got 139 views which is nearly a 12% increase over my previous highest ever.  (Did I actually just calculate the percent of increase?  Boy!  I’d better get outside and do something not involving a computer screen.  I don’t wanna turn into a geek!)

But that wasn’t all that happened that day.  I also got my highest number of “likes” and my highest by far number of comments and I got more followers, too.  Don’t worry–I didn’t calculate any more percentages.  Yet.

And that map they give you on the stats page?  Love, love, love it! I have traveled but I’m not what you would call a “world traveler.”  I am fascinated when I see there are people from Bosnia, Japan, Serbia–really?  Serbia?–who are clicking their mouses to read my words.  That map the other day had a long list of nations colored in.  I think it’s fair to say I’ve gone International!

That is fantastic!  I love getting comments!  I love “meeting” and “talking” to new friends and I found a bunch more bloggers that I want to follow too.  In fact, I visited many of you that same day.  Thank you so very much for taking the time to stroll over to my blog and stay a while.  Thank you for taking the time to say something and help make the post much more interesting than if it was just me talking.

I love that blogging brings us together no matter where we live and what else is going on in our lives!  Blogging cuts through a lot of complications and barriers and lets us simply communicate and be heard, even around the world.

This is very encouraging!

Meet Lars

You’ve probably noticed Lars up there in the banner.  He came on board about two Christmases ago to join us in the kitchen.  When I say “us” I mean me, Claude whom you’ve met earlier (https://mycookinglife.com/2012/02/19/and-this-years-lifetime-achievement-kitchen-inspiration-award-goes-to/), my husband and of course, now Lars.

At first it was unclear if Lars was a boy or a girl.  I was all set to call him/her Daffnyette until I realized that this little ducky is really all decked out.  Check out the chef’s hat and frock and the utensils!  Usually the more colorful of a species is the male, so “Lars” it is.

Lars doesn’t do much, but he makes a cute model for my banner photo.  Of course you can’t tell by looking at the photo but Lars actually doesn’t float so that makes him a disabled rubber ducky.  Similar to Apple Blossom, my turquoise blue stuffed dog.  When I was a girl, there was a dog show at my local park.  Newly stuffed, stitched and sporting brand new eyes and lips designed by me, I entered AB into the show.  She won the blue ribbon for “Best Behaved Dog.”  Her handicapped status of being stuffed didn’t stop her even though she was the only dog there with a handicap.

So how is it that I am writing about these characters in my cooking blog?  The answer is simple.  I have always enjoyed “people” like Lars and Claude.  Lars agrees.  He says, “Människor med “The Spirit of Play” är min typ av människor!”  (Sorry, Lars only speaks Swedish and I don’t, but I’m learning.  I know “manniskor” means “people,” if that helps!)