Perusing my comments and notifications I was pleasantly surprised to find myself Liebster Award nominated for a Liebster Award from these three bloggers!

Thank you so much! You are too sweet! The Liebster Award has German origins. The word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart and boyfriend. It aims to discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere. Bloggers award other bloggers.


I decided to participate by passing on this award because reading “award” posts has helped me find many excellent blogs to follow. Here are the rules for accepting the Liebster award:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

MY RANDOM FACTS (If you’re in a hurry, don’t bother reading this part. You’ve got a post to write!)

To start, I give you 11 random facts about myself:

  1. I collect heart-shaped rocks.
  2. I would adore my kids even if they weren’t my kids.
  3. I have excerpts from “The Art of War’ hanging above my desk.
  4. I’m pretty sure Kevin Spacey followed my brother around when developing his character for House of Cards. Except for the whole initial ‘needless suffering thing’ at the beginning of season 1 (Seriously. he can’t even kill spiders.) they are nearly identical in word choice, mannerisms and attitude. I know that doesn’t sound like it is about me but it is. After all, I grew up with him.
  5. I sleep with a stuffed Zombie cat (Creepy Critter). It was a gift from a former co-worker.
  6. When I go see my daughter perform in plays, I sometimes actually forget I am watching my daughter. I think about her in character. How weird is that?
  7. I am secretly proud of my son’s trouble-making pranks. (Favorite ones: The time he turned his school elevator into Tartis and the time he filled an empty deodorant container with butter and left it in his unlocked locker in the boy’s locker room. By the end of the school day, it was half gone. Guys who had gone into his locker and used it without asking reeked. )
  8. In 20 years of marriage, we only went on 6 real dates. If I asked, he’d turn me down – unless it involved me sitting in a car with a book while he fished alone.
  9. I once helped a woman being trafficked leave her situation. I was simply in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, it was years before authorities were aware of the extent of this type of  problem and while she was safe, the guy forcing her into this was just able to walk away.
  10. I was once invited to attend a backyard wrestling match on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It had been organized to thank us for remodeling a bathroom so a little boy with cerebral palsy could use it independently. The wrestling match involved barbed wire, chains, wood chunks with nails sticking out, folding chairs, lots of blood and a broken bone. I was traumatized and horrified but yet, to be polite, I still cheered. It often makes me question a lot of things about society, about myself.
  11. I am always, always cold and run a space heater by my desk even in the summer. And yes, I am picked on inordinately for it. And yes, it is running right now.


In order to avoid you having to be here all day, I am choosing to answer just 5 questions from each nomination.

In response to my nomination from Lucile de godoy, on life (See her complete list of questions by visiting her page.)

1. Are you afraid of the dark? I am not afraid of the dark but I do have serious concerns about what is hiding in the dark.

2. Do you care about recycling garbage? Well, part of my real-life job involves coordinating a city-wide recycling program. I try hard to not to bring my work home with me.

5. Are you addicted to social media? No but…. It ranks up there with chocolate.

6. Do you have a dream? I do! And I suspect it is similar to the dreams of many of us here in the Blogosphere. I am flying and then I’m falling when all of a sudden, I show up to my blog naked. (Well, that’s how writing feels sometimes, right? Maybe it’s just me. 😉 )

8. Tell us the funniest thing that has happened to you. Omg!!! Which one do I share????? Well, last year my son and I were playing hide and seek at a local sporting goods store. (We do things like this sometimes – covertly, not obnoxiously. It is one more way we say ‘I love you.’) Unfortunately, it was time to leave. I couldn’t find him and his cell phone was shut off. I was getting anxious because we were late for an appointment so I started looking harder, under displays, behind things on the shelves, in the center of the circular clothing racks. An employee of this store asked me if I was finding everything okay. I smiled and told her I had found everything I was looking for except my teenage son. She asked if she could help and requested a description. “Oh! Well, okay … um… he’s wearing camo pants, a black t-shirt, a camo jacket, hunting boots and he’s.. uh…” I put my hand in their air indicating how tall he was.

“Oh…. Just like his father!” The women hypothesized.

“Absolutely! They are about the same size.” I acknowledged, pleased but embarrassed we shopped there so frequently that staff knew us as regulars.

“Don’t worry ma’am,” she said. “We’ll find him.”

I suddenly realized what she was thinking but was unable to stop her.  She grabbed a phone and announced over the PA system, “Code Adam in menswear. Repeat Code Adam in menswear.” Somehow, she missed both the hand gesture indicating height and the word ‘teenage.’ Her brain had only registered ‘missing son.’

I started shaking my head no and protesting but she wasn’t listening. She simply continued, “Camo pants. Black tee. Camo jacket, hunting boots, height….”

She paused and asked, intercom in hands, “How tall is he?” She turned back to the intercom and repeated “height 6’2″ age… wait! 6’2″?!?!” It was terrible and could have been tragic or triggering for someone but…. It was also kind of hilarious.

… In response to Angiezingcupid (See her complete list of questions by visiting her page.)

1. Why do you write? Because…. Not to write is not to breathe. I process via writing.

2. Do you practice what you preach? I hope that I do. I want to. I also welcome constructive criticism and…. If any of you catch me in something out of my explicitly or implicitly stated values, please call me on it. Thanks.

5. Do you stand out or follow the crowd? I don’t know that I stand out, really. I feel like I am pretty ordinary. Yet, I make a concerted effort to not follow the heard.

6. What is your greatest fear? Well, not counting mice, centipedes, crashing my car on the freeway, hurtling over a bridge, having one of my children die, hurting those I love, Ebola, having my daughter be attacked, having my son become an alleged smiley face victim, an encounter with ISIS, becoming stuck on a train track or having my car break down in any manner (ala ‘Breathing Lessons’ by Anne Tyler), my greatest fear is that I have made no difference. My greatest fear is that, like ‘The Beast in the Jungle’ by Henry James, my greatest claim to fame will be the fact that I am someone to whom nothing happened. I know that logically, those who have been reading my series and who read my future posts will be sputtering coffee and laughing milk out their noses (at least that’s what my ‘live and in person’ friends do when I share this fear with them) but I am afraid of being incompetent and insignificant, boring and selfish.

8. Given a chance, would you meet people from WordPress? Maybe… I think I would really like to chat in person with some of the people I’ve met on WordPress! (But… to be honest, some of the blogs I am fascinated with also scare me. I’m not sure I would want to meet those people. Unless it was with a lot of other people in a very public place.) My niece blogs about Ulcerative Colitis both on her individual blog and occasionally as a contributor to The Great Bowel Movement. She actually got together with her fellow bloggers this summer. She said it was one of the best times in her life. They all had so much fun that they are going to make it periodic thing. (And, to be frank, if I didn’t know her in person and know how adorable and kind she is, if I only knew her by her blog, Yup… she’d be one of the ones whose blogs I am obsessed with and terrified of… So, who knows?!)

And finally, in response to my nomination from SappyasaTree (See her complete list of questions by visiting her page.)

1. If you walked into a Starbucks, what would you order? Well… if I did go to Starbucks, I would probably order a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher or a Hazelnut Frappuccino no whip. The thing is… you probably wouldn’t see me in Starbucks. I’m a Caribou fan and I usually order a Mocha. (but I really wish they’d bring back the Sparkling Apple Raspberry Juice.)

2. Read a good book lately? Please divulge its title and author. I am fascinated with Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I recommend it to everyone but can’t tell you what it is about or I will ruin it. Here is the description from Amazon:

“We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.”

5. Name one of your favorite desserts. Chocolate Thunder from Down Under at Outback Steakhouse. It’s a fudge-like gluten-free brownie with vanilla bean ice cream and thick chocolate sauce, whipped cream, a cherry and two spoons.

6. When you travel from one place to another–via public transportation or personal vehicle–do you listen to news, music, audiobooks, or your own thoughts? It really depends on my moods. I often listen to the Christian music radio station but… sometimes I listen to NPR and sometimes (yes, I know this is a complete contrast) I listen to the station that plays Ozzy, AWOLnation, Rob Zombie and Pantera. Again… it depends on my moods. Oh! Sometimes when perusing radio stations, we come across this polka station. The kids and I blast it, rocking out and head banging to it at the stop lights. We have never not had people look at us, turn down their music to see if they were hearing what they were hearing and confusedly stare as the light changed and we drove away leaving them scratching their heads. We don’t really enjoy polka but we highly appreciate the reactions our ridiculousness invokes.

10. How long have you been authoring a blog? I was a serial starter and stopper of secret blogs, discarding them as soon as I got bored or afraid they contained too much. I did this on and off for years, never caring about content, design or pretty much anything else that makes a good blog a good blog. But… none of them were publicly searchable, viewable. All of them were under ridiculous pseudonyms matched to equally ridiculous free email accounts and written on public library computers using a guest pass so no one could tie it back to me. (How’s that for paranoid?) I did this because I was using these blogs as journals. I needed to process and vent but had a mildly abusive, addictive, paranoid spouse who was far more likely to find paper journals than on-line ones. I just started my current blog (open to the public under an alternate version of my real name) this September.


So… if you read all the way to the bottom of this (yes, I am a bit wordy. I’m working on that…) I am asking 11 questions but, you know what? You only have to answer 5 of them. You’ve done enough work just getting this far. Besides, I don’t want to take away from blogging. I like what you are doing, want to read more and am just participating in this award because I think other people should visit you! But… I am also changing the number of nominees to five. I really, really appreciate that three people thought of me for this award. I want to play along and pass it on but, I also want to get writing. I am nearing the end of my series on acquiring pseudo-children and the unwritten posts are burning a whole in my heart!

If selected, you are, of course, free to reject my nomination. You have no obligation to accept the Liebster Award. No worries if you don’t. You are also free to pick new questions or choose questions from all the questions I answered. After all, your blog is your blog. You get to decide what goes on it, who is linked to it and how you spend your time on it. Thanks for playing! ❤

My nominees are:

And my questions are:

1. How are you, really?

2. What is your favorite part about today so far?

3. What is your favorite joke?

4. What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled?

5. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now and why?

6. How do you feel about public speaking?

7. What is the first thing you notice about people?

8. When you open someone’s blog for the first time, what makes you keep reading?

9. What is your blogging pet peeve? (And you better not say awards…. just kidding. If it is, you can say it.)

10. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?

11. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Because you have probably forgotten by now, this is what you are supposed to do if you accept:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers. (Let them know by commenting on their About page though!  🙂 )
  • Answer the questions I gave you and ask your nominees questions of your own.

I look forward to seeing who you choose!