Tag Archives: Versatile Blogger Award

I’m Versatile Again This Week!

Yesterday, I opened my new friend Melissa‘s post over at Play 101…she had been given the Versatile Blogger Award, and had graciously passed it on to me and 14 other bloggers.  I encourage you to check out Melissa’s blog…she is a TV news reporter who writes both eloquently and sensibly about many different topics, including parenting her two young children.  She’s funny too!

Versatile Blogger Award

This is my third VB award, and one of several blogging awards that I’ve been given in the last couple of months.  The rules state that I must link to the person who gave me the award (done), list seven previously unknown facts about myself, and pass it on to 15 newfound blogging buddies.  I’m running out of people to pick on give the award to, so I’m going to tweak the last part a bit…I hope Melissa doesn’t mind!

Seven Things About Me I Don’t Think I’ve Told You (And You Might Not Want to Know)

1.  My feet are really big…I was wearing a size 7 by the time I was 11.  I am now a size 10.  I hope my feet stop growing soon!

2. I was my elementary school’s president in Grade 6 (I really wasn’t that popular…it was a three-room school with fewer than 100 students!).  My campaign slogan was: “Don’t Go Bananas Over Boys!”  Maybe I’ll let Hilary borrow that if she ever decides to take a run at the presidency!

3. I love feeling the bristles of somebody’s brush cut…I used to surprise the little boy sitting in front of me in Grade 2 by running my hand up the back of his head at random times.  I think he liked it…

4. My little brother and I were once interviewed by a newspaper reporter while our dog was delivering puppies in the same room (we used to do a community newsletter in our hamlet of 150 people – I was 13, and he was 10)!

5. Lilies are my favourite flowers.

6. I often have strange, inexplicable dreams: Last night, I dreamed that a former co-worker was playing the banjo (she doesn’t – I checked).  The night before, I dreamed that a guy I knew in high school was throwing me into the trunk of his car and kidnapping me (he’s a hairdresser who dabbles in photography, art and fashion design – very scary!).

7. I refuse to eat olives…they look like eyes, and don’t taste good to me at all!

Passing On the Award

Instead of just picking 15 people who have already been awarded multiple times, I’ve chosen some of my favourite posts to share with you…feel free to respond with some of your favourites too!  It’s all about sharing the love! 

1. 36 x 37: All Pipes Lead to the Ocean.  Maura has a devastating accident, and has to break the bad news to her sons.

2. Big Happy Nothing: May I Have Some Assertiveness Training, Please? Amiable Amiable and I have a lot in common…we’re part of the newly-formed Doormat Club!

3. BlurtI Am Not a Pharmacist, But I’m Willing to Try.  Omawarisan recounts how he deals with having a similar phone number to a drugstore. 

4. H is for Happiness: Phoenix.  Harsha remembers the Mumbai bombing in 2008. 

5. Lanny the Leopard: Guest Post (originally on Hippie Cahier).  A young man goes off to Boot Camp, as told by his faithful friend.

6. Ironic MomExplaining the 80s to Children.  Leanne tells her 6-year-old twins about a period of ancient history.

7. Jacquelin Cangro: Eighteen Minutes: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.  Jacquelin relates the tragic story of a workplace disaster that led to safer working conditions for all of us.

8. Life is a Spectrum: The Long Distance Runner. Four-year-old Billy runs a race, and teaches us all a very important lesson.

9. Mostly Bright Ideas: Ideas to Live Without.  Contrary to the title of his blog, Charles illuminates some really bad ideas.

10. Murrmurrs: What We Have Here is a Failure to Procreate.  Murr explains the decision she and her husband made not to have children.

11. Plane Janer’s Journey: Male Readers Beware…The Ladies are Going Bra Shopping.  Jane’s piece supports her theory that “it is harder to find a well-fitting, reasonably priced, attractive bra than it is to find a good man to marry.”

12. Simply Diane: In Celebration…Red Mary Janes With No Buckles.  Diane recounts the story of adopting her daughter.

13. Sunshine in London: Not Just Another Winter’s Tale.  Sunshine remembers her late father-in-law in this love-filled post.

14. The $#!& I Think About: The Secret Lives of Cats.  Have you ever wondered what cats really do when their owners aren’t around?  Be sure to read both parts of this hilarious series!

15. Todd Pack’s Messy Desk: Cool Hand, Luke. Todd has a frank discussion with his 5-year-old son.

This is but a tip of the iceberg in terms of the talented people who are part of my blogging community (I only have great writers on my blogroll – check out He Said, She Said and They Said)…I wish I had to time and space to highlight all of them! 

What posts have you read recently that made you laugh, made you cry, or made you think?


Filed under blogging, friends, memories

What a Difference a Year Makes!

One year ago today, I sat down at my computer and began an odyssey into a strange and wondrous place that I knew virtually nothing about: the blogosphere.  Armed with a desire to get back to writing regularly after a three-year hiatus, I sent my thoughts hurtling into cyberspace.  What a positive and enlightening journey it’s been!

The Readers

If people didn’t read my blog, it wouldn’t have a reason to exist…I am so thankful that each of you takes the time from your busy day to come for tea in Hammond River!  I would like to make special mention of my first blogging buddy, Jane at PlaneJaner’s Journey.  Jane’s been with me since the very first day, encouraging me and telling others about me!  I will always be grateful that we found each other, Jane, and am proud to call you my friend!  When I first started, hits on my blog averaged about 35 or 40 hits a day…now I’m getting 125 to 150 a day!  I’m closing in on 25,600 hits, and 4100 comments for the year!  If you’re a “lurker”, don’t be shy…please leave me a comment…I promise to answer it!

The Community

I really had no idea that there were so many crazy talented writers out there when I started this project…smart, thoughtful, funny people who have taught me so much about good writing!  I have blogging buddies on five continents!  I’m sending all you guys a virtual brownie (I hope nobody’s allergic to cyber-sweetness!)…thanks for “getting me”!  In honour of my “blogiversary”, I have added several new people to my blogroll today (see “He Said”, “She Said”, and “They Said”).  Please take the time to check out their blogs: there’s nothing that makes me happier than hooking people up with great writers!  Many of these folks have been Freshly Pressed, and most are the recipients of multiple awards…Mama don’t allow no junk on her blogroll!

Take two...they're small...I made them just for you!

The Posts

If someone were being really nice, they would probably classify my blog as a “cornucopia” of topics.  Truthfully, I write what I feel like writing…several of my readers have commented that they never know what I’m going to write about next!  I like not being “predictable”…that equals “boring” for me!  Some days, I’m a “mommy blogger”, others I’m a “foodie”.  I write about gardening sometimes, and tell stories about the wild animals that share our land.  Other times, I’m an amateur historian, or relate stories of my own childhood.  I rant…a lot!  I talk about music, and books, and our bookstore.  I’ve dabbled in fiction.  I even took an action figure on a tour of our city!  Changing things up is how I like to roll!


Herding Cats in Hammond River has been Freshly Pressed twice by the powers that be at WordPress.  Thanks to the folks there for maintaining a quality blog site…there were a few technical issues last night, but they seem to have been resolved!  My fellow bloggers have been very generous about awards: They think my blog is “Bloody Brilliant”, “Versatile”, “Stylish” and “Memetastic”!  Thanks for the love, you guys!

The Family

I couldn’t do my blog without the love and support of my family…thanks for waiting patiently for dinner while I finish a post (or photograph what I cooked), and letting me make fun of you in public!  With you guys around, I’m sure I’ll never run out of things to write about!

Here’s to another year of Herding Cats in Hammond River!  Thank you, everybody!




Filed under blogging, friends, self-discovery

Handing Out the Hardware…

A couple of days ago, my friend Izziedarling over at The Whatever Factor presented me with The Bloody Brilliant Blogger’s Award.  Here’s what it looks like:

The Bloddy Brilliant Blogger's Award

This is high praise coming from Izzie, whose blog is smart, funny and snarky at the appropriate time – she is unafraid to use her keyboard to point out the stupidity in the world!  She described me as “enlightened.”  I begged her to pass that on to my children!  Izzie and I share a love for peonies, sweet tea, red licorice, Italy, reading, collecting (but not hoarding), baking bread, music, and dancing.  She can also spot a bargain a mile away!  Show her some love by stopping in and leaving a comment on her blog!

To be honest, this isn’t my first award…it’s just the first one I’ve acknowledgedJane at Plane Janer’s Journey and Laura at Laura Best, Author  both gave me The Versatile Blogger Award back in July.  Jane was the first person I wasn’t related to I didn’t actually know who read my blog and commented on it!  She has been one of my biggest supporters, and I’ve met some of the other people on my list through her.  We both love gardening and cooking.  Her blog combines ordinary life, spirituality, and humour in a well-wrapped package – check out her hilarious tales of the Angry Samaritan!  I fully expect to buy a book with her name on the cover some day!  Laura lives the closest to me of any of my blogging buddies, being in Nova Scotia, the next province over.  Already a published author of a young adult novel, Laura’s blog concentrates mainly on writing.  She brings forth a unique perspective on the process of putting thoughts on paper.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Part of accepting these awards is coming up with seven fun facts about yourself, and then passing the awards on to bloggers you enjoy…I have no problem coming up with people to give the award to, but coming up with seven things I haven’t already talked about in my blog was a challenge for me (plus, I am Queen of the Procrastinators – no secret, there!).  Maybe three times was the charm to help me get around to it?

I finally got around to it...

So here goes…seven things about me I don’t think I’ve mentioned before:

1. My middle name is “Gaye.”  What were my parents thinking?  My children give me lots of grief about it.

2. I look horrible in the colour mauve…it makes me look like I have one foot in the grave.

3. I once argued with my third grade teacher about the pronunciation of “shone.”  She said, “shawn” but I was convinced you said it like “shown.”  I was wrong, Mrs. H., and I’m sorry!

4. I like to fish…the best part is finding the worms.  I throw anything I catch back in the water.

5. Grammatical/spelling errors irritate me, and I will correct you if you make them!

6. [whispering] I don’t think the Beatles were the greatest musical group ever (please, no hate mail!).  They were okay, and made a lot of money.

7. I once used nearly every barf bag on the plane while travelling on a commuter flight from Toronto, Ontario to Columbus, Ohio…the plane was so small, I had trouble standing upright (I’m 5’5″ tall).  Instead of seats, there was actually a couch with seatbelts in it down one side of the plane!  It was a very turbulent ride.  The businessmen were all staring at me…never again!

And now…the envelope, please…here, in alphabetical order, are the winners of the Bloody Brilliant/Versatile Blogger Awards (take two, they’re small!):

Amanda’s Wrinkled Pages: Amanda is a mother of four who still manages to find the time to write.  I discovered her through her being Freshly Pressed in early August.  Amanda often takes real life situations, and relates them to the writing process.  The post which hooked me was about her husband always beating her at Scrabble – I am an online Scrabble fiend, and my college buddy always beats me!

Blurt: Omawarisan is a man of mystery and extremely clever humour.  This southern guy has an ongoing piece about an “action figure” of Angelina Jolie (the Jolie Pez Project) and its adventures.  Omawarisan has Policies on the use of Blackberries in the bathroom, white chocolate Easter bunnies, and live nude dogs (yes, he’s twisted, but in a good way).  He once wrote a piece about suction cups…it was hilarious!

 Embracing Myself: I met Nancy through PlaneJane.  Nancy is the closest thing I’ve got to a mom in the blogging world…I love her because she never pulls any punches and isn’t afraid to say what she thinks.  This ordained minister lives in Idaho with her physician husband on a farm with more than 100 alpacas and assorted other animals.  Nancy’s blog is a mixed bag of spirituality, humour, and self-discovery.  She is also one of the biggest promoters I know of other bloggers.

Infernal Memo: Alex is another one of my Canadian blogging buddies.  She is a mom, and a published author of one book, with several more in the works.  I actually relinquished my crown as “Queen of the Procrastinators” to Alex when she announced that she was going to write a 25,000 word novel in eight days (she did it, too!).  Alex’s blog concentrates mainly on writing, with some potty-mouthed observances from real life thrown in (I love it!).

Life in the Boomer Lane: Renée is the funniest real estate agent I know…she recently confessed to creating mishaps in her life solely to amuse others!  Also a published author (x2), Renée blogs about the misadventures of her cat, her husband’s penchant for buying things while she’s away, and crazy things she sees in her travels (which apparently depend way too much on a GPS).  I love her self-deprecating style!

My Odd Family: Katybeth spoils other people’s pets, and gets paid for it.  This Chicago mom is cooking and baking challenged, but definitely has no trouble with writing!  You never know what Katybeth will write about (her blog is odd, after all), but it’s often funny, and always intelligent.

Shakti Mama: Juliana is a thinker…always analyzing things, and giving us the beautiful results in print.  I discovered her through Laura.  This young mom lives with her husband and baby in a 100-sq.-ft. RV.  Juliana’s blog is about self-discovery, spirituality, and empowerment.  I see her as the author of at least one self-help book some day…

Simply Diane…Dirty Laundry: Another recent discovery through her being Freshly Pressed, Diane writes about everyday life as the mom of four.  She manages to make cooking and cleaning up after her big family sound interesting and funny (something I also strive to do!).  Diane’s post about the Homework Battle Smackdown had me nodding and laughing at the same time…it’s a scene that’s been repeated many times at our house.

smalltownbiglife: Kerri is a former journalist, who can also write wonderful poetry.  She always makes me think with her blog posts, which often take a current event and turn it into something truly breathtaking.  Another mom, she shares my love of good food!

Some Species Eat Their Young: Chase is another recent discovery…he was just Freshly Pressed last week.  This dad of four kids, aged 6 and under, chronicles the entertaining chaos that takes place in his young family’s life every day.  Chase is a hands-on dad, being up to the challenge of doing his 3-year-old daughter’s hair when called upon to do so (and he did a great job too – I saw the picture!).  Just reading his blog makes me tired, but it also makes me laugh!

Sunshine in London: Sunshine is sort of my twin (if I was born 9 days earlier in South Africa instead of Ohio, and I was a beautiful, slim blonde).  We were married the same year (she’s still married, I’m not) and both worked in non-profit communications (we’re both unemployed).  Sunshine shares my love of music and language.  A newbie to blogging, Sunshine provides an amusing picture of what it’s like being an “outsider” in London.

TEStazyk: Tom is a reformed retired accountant who is now doing post-graduate studies in world literatures.  Living in beautiful New Zealand, Tom originally hails from Cleveland, Ohio (another Buckeye, yay!).  Tom’s blog is an eclectic mix of humour, current events, and everyday life.  His writing is smart (as a post-grad student’s work should be) and insightful. 

The Absence of Alternatives : Lin is convinced she needs therapy…I say she’s “crazy like a fox.”  Her blog is probably one of the hippest on my list – she writes about many topics, and does it well (and isn’t afraid to use four-letter words, if necessary).  Lin is also a mom, and a talented photographer to boot.  She is incredibly smart and well-informed…Lin’s recent rant on Sarah Palin’s “mama grizzlies” video was brilliant!

The Highly Uninteresting Misadventures of Average Girl: AG takes stuff we moms do every day and turns it into the funniest thing you’ve ever read!  I seriously think AG is the new Erma Bombeck!  Her piece giving advice about high school should be posted in girls’ lockers nationwide!  I am going to have to invest in some Depends if I continue to read her blog on a regular basis (and I will – read, not buy Depends)!

Theycallmejane’s Blog: Jane is the second “Jane” on my list.  Another good writer and mom, Jane blogs on a variety of topics, juggling multiple blogs like a pro (she has multiple awards to prove it!).  She shares my love of music, books and cooking.  Jane is truly one of the nicest people on my list (but they’re all nice!).  Her blog is sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful, but always bang-on!

Todd Pack’s Messy Desk: Todd is a lot like me, I think.  He likes words, and music, and food.  He’s not into Nascar or wrestling.  Todd writes about lots of things cleverly.  His posts are often about childhood memories, and they’re sometimes long (as mine are).  Todd also answers every comment on his blog, an admirable quality which indicates what a nice guy he is.  

Winn’s Window: Koreen is another Canadian friend.  She has connected me with other Canadian women bloggers.   She is a photographer, and mom of a four-year-old.  Koreen is a great “describer” – her account of her son at play in “Balance” is genius!  Her blog is another mixed bag incorporating photos and everyday life.

Congratulations to all my blogging brothers and sisters!  Please keep doing what you do!  Now pass it on!

I encourage everyone reading this to click and read these talented writers’ work (whew!  I might need a nap – I think this is my longest post ever!).


Filed under blogging, friends