You say, “What’s cooking, good looking?” And I’ll say . . .

HELLO . . .Hello . . hello.

That’s the echo I imagine if these words were being communicated out loud and you could hear them as if I’m across the canyon. Yes, across the canyon or maybe on the other side of the galaxy.

Is anybody out there?

I just checked and the last post I wrote was in November 2017. To say I’ve been distracted is sort of true but not what you might think. I could say, “I’ve been distracted by life!” [Back of hand gently lifted to forehead as if I might faint.] Too dully dramatic for my taste.

If I had to say why I’ve been gone, it would be that this blog has un-distracted me. What I mean by that is I got tired of the routine of creating a new dish, taking photos while cooking it and writing down the recipe for it, then trying to make the photos half-way decent despite not really having the right equipment and posting it.

And to some degree there is that distraction called “life” in which I have been very busy and my cooking has become very simple. Which I like very much in life but it doesn’t make for an exciting blog post, does it? How many times would I get away with showing you lightly boiled kale?

If you look at cooking blogs or YouTube cooking videos, the creator is usually showing you something special or something you might not make on your own or something for a holiday or a party. I actually love those YouTube videos and I admit that I have gotten into the habit of watching a few of them. Maybe I’ll blame them for why I didn’t write in my blog.

I am just not in the mood for creating a bunch of special dishes. That is all.

HOWEVER, I am never out of ideas of what I want to write about! I have lots of ideas and they get put on the back burner as soon as I consider how I would illustrate the post or add a photo or two. I consider that you won’t want to read the post if it doesn’t have pictures. I’m hoping I’m wrong about that. If you bear with me on this, I think I will come up with illustration ideas eventually.

Then there’s the whole dilemma of my blog title – “mycookinglife.” If it’s my cooking life, shouldn’t it have cooking in it? Not necessarily! It is my cooking life and I do have a cooking life because I love to cook and have paid attention to cooking for sixty plus years and I still pay a lot of attention to cooking but now we can talk about it on broader terms because I also have a life that is still “cooking.”

It would be a lot of trouble to change the name of the blog and I really don’t want to anyway. I mean really! What would I say? My Endless Life? My Unretired Life? (Not bad) Six Decades of Growing Up? (I’ll have to remember that one.) If I did something like that I would be trying to sneak cooking into it anyway. You know I would.

(By the way, did you notice in the beginning I said something was too dramatic “for my taste?” Does talking about taste count as being broadly about my cooking life?)

No? Okay what about this – what about if the word “cooking” is modifying life as in my life is still “cooking” in a non-literal sense? Like if you asked, “What’s cooking good looking?” and I told you about my latest adventure creating a costume for a party or about my upcoming dental surgery.

You’re hoping I will never tell you about dental surgery. I’ll try not to. But if I did, I would also tell you how to make stunningly delicious and satisfying soft foods and liquids to consume right after the surgery. That’s right! When you are me in my cooking life, anything can be about cooking literally or otherwise.

To my surprise, while I was off doing other things and not writing posts, other people were still visiting this blog. I was very surprised when I looked at my statistics. This month alone – almost a year a half since my last post – there have been 75 visitors to mycookinglife,com. Go figure!

It is encouraging to say the least. And just for your information, many of them visited to see how to cook lotus root. In case you want to see that too, here it is.

It turns out I have a lot more to say and with your encouragement, you 75 wonderful, kind, brilliant, intuitive and totally hip people, I’m going to say it. I’ll probably throw in some recipes and photos sometimes, too. You know I will.

So that’s what I’ve been up to on my side of the canyon galaxy, how about you?

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That’s A Good Title

Daily Prompt asks: Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

Way to be on my wavelength, WordPress!  I was just about to re-post my most popular posts while I finish up with July’s chocolate mousse recipe.

My all-time top three posts are:

3.  The End of An Era  Who could have guessed that nearly every single day, someone has found this little piece of news on a search engine and stopped by to read it?  It boggles my mind.  This post was heavily shared on facebook. Not saying it went viral, just saying a few people got the sniffles for it. See for yourself at https://mycookinglife.com/2012/11/28/the-end-of-an-era/

YOGURT DRESSING

2. It’s Rasta Pasta Time  There is no such thing as “Rasta Pasta” since Jamaican cuisine doesn’t particularly use pasta!  But the rhyme apparently strikes a chord in a lot of people.  This one, too, is discovered by someone on a search engine just about daily.  The recipe works and besides, who doesn’t like an inspiring action shot of Bob Marley?  Here is the post at https://mycookinglife.com/2012/07/27/its-rasta-pasta-time/

Bob-Marley

And the number one hit post on Mycookinglifebypatty is:  [Drum roll, please]

3. Preserved Lemons – A Tradition in Moroccan, Mediterranean and Indian Cuisine. Is it the photograph? Is it just that people have heard of preserved lemons but didn’t know how to make them? Is it the fact that I have since mentioned and linked to this post about a zillion times because I love, love, love using preserved lemons in my recipes? Maybe all of the above.  This is certainly one of my favorites so I can understand if it’s one of yours. You can take a look at the preserved lemon post here:  https://mycookinglife.com/2012/07/08/preserved-lemons-a-tradition-in-moroccan-mediterranean-and-indian-cuisine/

add-salt-2.jpg

Is there some sort of magic in this? Not so sure. Did I possibly hit on the right tags so I could get a good ranking on some search engines?  Perhaps. Great photographs? In my case, I doubt that was the connecting factor. If I had to say there was one connecting factor, I would say it was the titles of the posts.

A good title tells you what the post is about or at least gives an intriguing hint. A good title can be short or long, but is never awkward or obtuse.

A good title gets the reader to click onto the post, which is what the “top post” stats actually reflect. Doesn’t mean they read the whole thing, doesn’t mean they liked it. It just means they were interested enough to see it.  You have to be able to accomplish that if you want anyone to read your stuff!

A good post delivers what the title promises. And that, Grasshopper, is where you either lose them or draw them in.

Master Po
Master Po

My method in this is to use a “working title” while I’m writing the post and then when the post is finished, I will read it and discover what the final title should be. Because you never know what will develop while writing a post! That way, I am not locked into something such as the school essay assignment, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.”

My working title for this post was, “My All Time Top Three.”  Definitely too WIDOMSV. I didn’t know what I thought the connection was with the three posts when I started writing. But when I got to the end, I had the “title” theory and changed the title of the post.

What do you think of these titles? Are they the connecting link for these top posts or do you see another kind of connection?

P.S. For you youngins, Master Po is not the In-Charge Teletubby.

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Smorgasbord

If we slap a tagline on ourselves, are we helping people understand us or are we limiting what can be understood about us?

Today’s Daily Prompt is called “Tagline.”  The editor asks, “Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?”

A tagline is something that gives a viewpoint. Where are you coming from? Where are you looking from? What’s your angle? A tagline is really a label, isn’t it? And a label symbolizes something or someone by imbuing an added significance according to a viewpoint.

We give ourselves and other people taglines all the time.

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride; Village Idiot; Ain’t Nobody’s Fool; Show Me the Money!; Groceries; Know It All; Earth Mama; Your Worst Nightmare; My Precious; Stands With a Fist; Diamond in the Rough; Hellbent for Leather; the Ol’ Ball and Chain; My Better Half; God’s Gift to Women . . .

God's Gift to Women
God’s Gift to Women (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taglines can be cruel, kind, endearing or damning depending on The Viewpoint. We look down, we look up, we look sideways and cross-ways at people we know or meet. You can go all philosophical  and deep-think with them or just express some momentary whimsy and humor.

Sometimes we ask people to look at us from a certain viewpoint. Like when we put a bumper sticker on the car. I have a neighbor who has a bumper sticker on his car that says, “I poke badgers with spoons.” What is that supposed to make us think? I chuckle at the originality but is he saying he’s extremely brave or that he indulges in animal cruelty? Probably neither. Wry sense of humor, maybe? Pumpernickel? (Work with me here.)

I have no bumper stickers on my car. I resist labeling myself with a tagline. My viewpoint can change in an instant! I can consider in one way and then have another consideration right after that. And so can you, I believe.

That is called “creating your life and being the author of your own truth.” Not indecisive—Flexible. Not fixed—Infinitely Possible. Not living a lie—Honestly Looking. Magic Carpet Ride, perhaps. (See how easy it is to lapse into taglines?)

The tagline for my blog is, “Adventures in Healthy Living.” That is meant to give you a viewpoint that goes along with My Cooking Life. My game is to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences as they relate to my viewpoint about cooking and the adventure of living a great life. And like my blog’s tagline, my personal tagline (if I had one) would also have to be very open-ended Blah, blah, blah..

What good is it, may I ask, to have a tagline if you then have to explain it to people?

So in keeping with the theme of this blog. . . for the moment . . . as anti-climactic as it seems to me now . . .my personal tagline could be

Smorgasbord—Anything and Everything or Nothing At All!

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My Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool!

My mother was never reticent about accepting a compliment or a gift. She set an excellent example of how one can be sincerely gracious when receiving a compliment and enjoy the acknowledgement fully. And I’m the same way.

If you tell me I done good, I’m not going to say, “Oh! No no no, really it was nothing.” And I’m not going to pump for more, saying “Do you really think  so? I was trying but I didn’t know if I really accomplished anything.”

I’m going to say “Thank you so much!”

And I’m going to enjoy the hell out of the compliment given! Do not confuse this attitude with one of ‘doing something with the hope and intention of getting someone to acknowledge.’ Not the same at all.

All of which is a long introduction to saying thank you to my blogging friend, Debra, for acknowledging me and my blogging.  Debra recently awarded me the “Versatile Blogger Award” and yesterday she also conferred upon me the “Shine On Award.”

I recently found Debra’s blog, Mauldinfamily1, and we have been mutually admiring each other’s posts on a regular basis. And honestly, Debra, I have read some of your short fictional tidbits and some of your poetry and you have the ability to draw me right in to whatever you are creating!

I have also found some awesome bloggers to follow via Debra and she has a knack for finding fine, interesting bloggers.

So on to the business at hand! It is my turn to do the nominatin’ and awarding.

The Shine On Award

The Shine On Award

Let’s start with the Shine on Award.  This award asks for seven things about myself and 5-10 nominations.  And of course you also link to the blogger who awarded you, just as I’ve done.  Here we go:

  1. I’m an east coast girl at heart.
  2. I’d like to live in Italy.
  3. I’d also like to live in Maine.
  4. My favorite color is red and always has been.
  5. I’m lazy as all get out.
  6. I recently learned metric measurements for cooking.
  7. I fancy myself to have a Scottish ancestry. True there is some Scottish but it’s not the primary heritage–just the one I relate to the strongest.

(Now pretend we’re at the Oscars) Ahem! And the nominations are . . .

  1. Human Rights Warrior
  2. British Food: A History
  3. The Fantastical Voyages of Flat Kathy
  4. Cindyknoke
  5. Afroculinaria

Actually the “nominations” are all winners because I said so!

Now, let’s take a look at the Versatile Blogger Award. Hmmmm. What does “versatile” mean?

Ver-sa-tile – Adjective

1. Able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities: “a versatile saw”.

2. Changeable; inconstant.

Okay, so the first definition seems complimentary.  The second is not necessarily if you’re saying something or someone is “inconstant.” But I am going to take the first definition here and see if I can nominate some bloggers who have demonstrated variety and ability to adapt their basic blog theme or purpose broadly.

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Yikes! Another seven things about meeeee?  (Plus 15 nominations and of course a link to the blogger–Mauldinfamily1–who nominated me.) Okay then here goes:

  1. In the past four years I lost 97 pounds.
  2. I am confident I can handle anything life throws at me and come out on top.
  3. My nickname used to be “Peaches” but now I don’t seem to have any nickname and I really don’t want one either.
  4. I am 100% against psychiatry and also psychiatric drugging.
  5. I think everyone should know their thirty human rights as laid out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  6. I have at least three Christmas decorations that remain on display in my home all year.
  7. I have three of the most wonderful sons any mother could ask for.

And (drumroll please) the first five nominees are:

  1. Cook Up a Story
  2. Domestic Diva
  3. Fig and Quince
  4. Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy
  5. Displaced Beachbums

When I find the next five nominees I will announce them.  For now, these are my choices and I hope you’ll visit them soon! Congratulations to all and again, thank you Debra for nominating me.

(Stay tuned – I am very close to starting my own idea of an excellent award to acknowledge favorite bloggers!)

How Do You Talk to No One

How do you talk to no one

When you’re trying to talk to someone?

Are you talking to yourself, as if writing a journal,

All the while intending for someone to pick it up and read?

Or do you imagine there is a mob of people

Patiently waiting, listening, for your every word?

Are you writing to someone in particular?

A friend, or dare you think, a fan?

Or maybe you envision sitting down for coffee and

Exchanging an intimate chat with someone you trust.

Only they do all the listening and you have to do

All the talking.

How courageous you are to speak into the silence,

To pour your heart out, to teach your lessons.

You reveal yourself in front of everyone and no one

As you discover what it is you had to say.

Mentor and pupil, writer and reader, you carry both ends

Of a conversation you trust you are having.

Hello out there!

Hello out there!

Like Quicksand

Well now I’ve done it!

Last week I was perusing my WordPress Reader where I follow my favorite blogs and I decided on a whim to suggest a topic for the Daily Prompt. This is a WordPress feature in which an idea for a post is given and bloggers can use it as a jumping off point for a post. I suggested a topic about rules. Is it true “Rules are made to be broken?” And I prompted, “When have you broken a rule and did you get burned or did it turn out for the best?”

WordPress took me up on the idea today! Only the editor changed it to “Laws” not just “Rules.”

I would like to say here that I fully believe it is wisest and best to follow the laws of the land. Period.

If Daily Prompt uses your suggestion, you are expected to write a post on the subject. Okay then; I won’t break that rule.

English: Warning sign for quicksand in Frederi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So how does my prompt apply to the subject of food and cooking? Health and diet? The field of dietary advice shifts and changes like quicksand. There are thousands of “experts” who all claim to know the best way to eat, the best way to cook, the latest miracle foods, the hottest nutrients, the must-have dietary supplements.

Some say we should be vegan (no animal foods or animal by-products whatsoever) and some claim the Paleo diet (which includes quite a bit of animal food) is the way to go. Some people promote brown rice and other whole grains as a basis for a healthy diet while others say we should avoid carbohydrates and gluten.

Really, why does feeding our bodies seem to require so many rules in the first place? Shouldn’t it be easy and simple and . . . natural?

Yes, it should be and it can be if we are starting from a central point of balance. My first and only rule is: Eat real, whole food that has not been chemicalized, genetically engineered, formulated in a laboratory, or extracted from its natural source and greatly altered into something else.

Some of us are starting at a point of great imbalance and it will take a lot of care and perhaps following of rules in order to stabilize. Some have found their balance and know that if they venture away from their “rules” there is no harm done as long as they find their way back again.

And then there’s the subject of sugar, that I so adamantly advised against in several major blog posts throughout 2012. And I meant every single word I wrote! And I follow my own advice.

Most of the time.

So why, in 2013 am I featuring dark chocolate mousse once a month and why was my January mousse made with sugar? And how is that working out for me?

It is too early to say, except that January’s Dark Chocolate Mousse was absolutely divine, though short-lived. We each had our serving of this wonderful dessert and we are looking forward to February’s mousse.

Is breaking this rule the equivalent of “removing the tag from your pillow?” Or does this make me into a food hypocrite undeserving of your attention?

I guess you’re the judge of that depending on your own viewpoint and level of fanaticism when it comes to rules about eating. Believe me there are those who would consider my Quest for Dark Chocolate Mousse to be sheer heresy. But I do not.

One thing I have gleaned from writing this post is that I do not wish to be a “food/dietary” expert so much as I like to show people how I cook using foods that fit into my one and only rule of using organic, mostly unrefined, traditional whole foods. And that the purpose of writing this blog is to express my very personal passion for cooking as an outlet for creative expression.

Nothing more and nothing less.

~~~

So far I have read over thirty entries by other bloggers based on this prompt and found some very personal and moving pieces. I have much admiration for that.

A Very Fine Year to Become Queen

English: The Queen of Hearts, from a 1901 edit...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I celebrated my first anniversary as a blogger on November 24th.  And now that 2012 is coming to a close, I’m about to reach the 5,000 hit mark.  Not bad for a first year!

I wrote this post to celebrate as part of the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge.

To Write or Not to Write.  That was the question.

It had been about 35 years since I’d written anything that got published. I still considered myself to be “a writer” and if I did write something, I still put my all into it–letters, emails, shopping lists, reports for work.  I still loved any type of writing.

In the meantime over those 35 years I became an accomplished cook and taught cooking for 25 of those years. Cooking became my art and my craft.  It replaced writing as my creative outlet. This is convenient since I also eat food daily and have people to cook for but the writing bug was still within me, patiently waiting for the day when I would start my novel or my series of short stories or whatever it was that I would promise myself I was going to eventually write.

Love to cook.  Love to cook for others to enjoy.  Love to write.  Love to communicate to others. Scared to try a big project like writing a novel.  (Wow.  I am actually admitting I’ve been scared to start that novel. That is a first.)

And not interested in opening a restaurant, catering business, or cooking school. Or write a cookbook for that matter.  That would seem to be the logical solution to loving cooking and loving writing.  But that idea just didn’t meet my needs.

I Became Queen of My Realm

So I decided to start a blog about cooking.  Short writing projects about my cooking life that can be completed in a sitting.  I’m the dreamer, author, editor, photographer, designer, publisher and promoter.  I’m the Queen of My Blog, Baby!

I tested the waters with all kinds of food and cooking-related topics.  I shared about my growing up and family life, I got on my soapbox about the evils of sugar and GMOs, I introduced some favorite characters (Claude Mouse, Lars and Edith), I posted some of my standby favorite recipes and some new ones I created just for you to read in this blog, and I dabbled in the  food photography arena.  (So far, not extremely successful with that endeavor.)

I do throw in some original recipes.  Sometimes I do the recipe thing because I think, “That’s what people want.”  But it was never my intention to have that kind of recipe-cooking tips-how-to blog.  Not strictly.

More enticing to me is the expression of life through cooking and the way cooking has seemed to weave its way into every part of my life.  I get some of my best ideas while cooking and as a matter of fact, when I’m writing a post for this blog, I often get my best ideas for cooking.  Blogging has provided on-the-spot cooking inspiration and vice versa!  See how it is for me in my cooking life?

As my fellow Kings and Queens of Blogging know very well, receiving encouragement and comments in response is the pay.  Thank you for responding to me over the past year! Along the way I met many wonderful people and fantastic bloggers and found out that reading blogs is not only a lot of fun, but it is a great way to find the cutting edge of current thinking about all kinds of subjects.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your interest in reading what I have to say, for trying some of my recipes and cooking tips and for responding to me so generously.  It is such an inspiration and encouragement for any writer to be acknowledged and know that someone heard (or in this case read) what was communicated! So thank you, thank you, thank you my readers and fellow bloggers! Thank you, husband Jack and my sons, for your enthusiastic encouragement and support for me to keep on cooking and writing!

And thank you WordPress, for providing this medium where I can become one with my writing and my cooking by sharing My Cooking Life.

Bouquet of roses

Bouquet of roses just for you! (Photo credit: Robo Android)

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).