Tag Archives: Awards

Time for Gratitude and Thanks

In the last couple of months I have been honored by fellow bloggers with many wonderful awards:

Awards April May 2013

Inspiring Blogger Award by Elliebloo at her poetry blog http://simplypoeticme.com/, the very beautiful Dragons Loyalty Award  by http://wrestling-life.com/, a versatile Blogger Award and Shine On Award by Shaun at http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/ and finally the new, touching WordPress Family Award – Shaun’s design – by Joe at http://iamforchange.wordpress.com/.

I wish to express my gratitude and thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for these awards! And dear readers, please make sure to check out these great blogs!

Since I have already emptied my own storage box with things about myself, I will let Bumble, my poodle who has become an avid blogger in his old days, tell a few secrets about me from his perspective.

bumble at laptop 2

”Ok, here we go. I hope mom doesn’t read this, she promised not to…and since I can’t count, forgive me if the number of things is not exactly the right number according to all the rules:

  • Mom is old, I mean she must be. She has a grand-daughter. She is three and she loves me. We like sitting in the easy chair together.
  • Mom calls me by so many different names that it’s easy to get confused (and get blamed for dementia), like “Pludi”, which apparently has something to do with Disney, “Liti” for small, and Bumpy which tells me she really can’t pronounce my name. Bumble – how difficult is that? She an immigrant, you know, so I forgive her.
  • Mom likes to sit on the terrace and look out on the water. She usually reads…and has a drink. I like to sit with her on the lounge chair and when she goes inside, I’ll try to taste her drink. Water with lemon? It’s anyone’s guess.

Bumble on the terrace ed

  • Mom is addicted to her Kindle. She calls it “fire” but I don’t see any flames, just the hot pink leather covers. So maybe she means that there is fire inside? But where’s the smoke?
  • Mom always says she’ll go to the gym, but most days she just plans to go. Planning is good, better than nothing, right? At least she goes on walks with me when I plan them.
  • Mom’s clothes are at least one size too small. Why do I say that? It is obvious. The treats that she can get into her pockets are far too few and far too small. If she wore right sized trousers, for example, the pockets would be much bigger, right?

I don’t know if this is sufficient, but that’s all I have time to write now. So long everybody! ”

Hmm…a promise is a promise, so I will let this go.

I also have to confess that this might be my last somewhat “proper” thank you note. I struggle with freeing enough time for blogging anyway…so from now on I will acknowledge any awards that might come my way on my special page for Thanks, but will not attempt to write thank you posts. The interaction through comments and thoughts posted by you all is the best reward I can get! So thanks for your understanding.

And now I have the privilege to nominate a few blogs that I really enjoy reading. They are about 100…so the task of selecting a few is very difficult. To honor this occasion, I will nominate a few blogs for the REALITY Award I came up with last year, and will try to nominate blogs that I have started to follow more recently.

Reality Blog Award

This award is really “light touch”, a simple expression of appreciation, and therefore does not have any specific rules, as described at its inception.

My 10 nominees are:











If you are not yet familiar with all these great blogs, please make sure to check them out soon!

Congratulations and thank you! And to all other 90+ blogs I read regularly, thanks to you too 🙂 And Happy Mothers Day to all moms in the readership!

Happy Mothers Day (2)

1497 Words of Thanks!

I’ve been tardy in thanking for the many awards my blog has been nominated for so far in 2013. As for many of you, life tends to interfere. But here it comes – a big THANK YOU for the kindness so many blogging friends have extended to me and my tiny blog! I’m afraid this is going to be a very long post…so I wanted to be transparent from the start, but please keep reading because you may learn about some very interesting blogs that you have yet to discover.

I’m very honored to receive the prestigious HUG Award© from my friend and a beautiful human being, Tazein at http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/. Please go check out her inspiring blog where she nurtures hope in all its shapes and forms. Thank you Tazein!

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at  http://ahopefortoday.com, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people. The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness.

The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc. You can find the guidelines for this special award at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/. These guidelines are more about eligibility, and nominating at least one other person – blogger or not – for the award, than about talking more about me. I like that.

Hope by tiny lessons blog

I would like to nominate six truly deserving bloggers for this special award. Three of them are educators. They all nurture hope in the young generation in their chosen vocation, and for everyone on their blogs. These blogs are quite different, but all of them are truly worth your visit!




The three other nominees are “advisors”. They nurture hope in the true sense of this award through the insights and wise, actionable advice they provide on their blogs – and in “real life”. If you are not already familiar with their blogs, please make sure to check them out!




Many hugs, thanks for spreading HOPE, and congratulations to the recipients of this award!  Please feel free to accept or to do nothing at all if you don’t have the time to respond or have decided not to accept awards.

In addition, my blog has been kindly nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Akanksha at http://akanksharastogi.wordpress.com – Sharing Thoughts and Insights. Please pay a visit to this interesting blog as well. Thank you so much Akanksha!

My friend Cyndi at http://healthyazblog.wordpress.com/ nominated me early in the year for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award and in late February for a Beautiful Blogger Award. What an honor, I am very thankful Cyndi!

Finally in late February I was tagged by Carolyn at http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/.

Please make sure you visit her wonderful blog! This is a new and different game, the rules of which are:

1. Post these rules. 2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you. 3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post. 4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged.

In the hope that at least a few visitors would  read this entire post, I figured that by following these rules, I would also “comply” to a certain degree with the rules of the three other awards which all call for 7 facts about me and nomination of 15 others to receive these awards.

So here is a picture of me when I was about 17 years old. I still remember this HS senior year trip and how salty the sea water tasted when I brushed my teeth.

So here are 11 random facts about me – you can jump over this portion. Tiny is 5’7″; likes cooking low GI pasta dishes; wants to continue to grow as a person; sponsors kids in poor countries, loves the freedom of current consulting work; is an extrovert ENFP; is curious about people and cultures; likes singing & playing but doesn’t get to it very often; hates dishonesty and manipulation; has had many “downs” but more “ups” in life (or that’s how she remembers things); and has a hotline to her Creator.

Carolyn’s questions to her nominees were:

1. If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit would you rather be..? I’d be a strawberry, love the red color.

2. Who is your favourite singer? Oh, this is difficult as there are too many singers I really like, but let me say the singers in Playing for Change Movement (I know, they are far more than one, but check them out at  http://www.youtube.com/artist/playing-for-change)

3. Snow or Beach? Beach…I left the snow behind 2 years ago, but still do excursions to beautiful snowy landscapes.

4. Did you have a favourite toy when growing up? Did it have a name? Did you take it with you everywhere you went? No, not really. I had very few toys as a child. I liked to play “real life” with whatever was available….but I remember a little bird on wheels that I got when I was about 3 years old. And I remember two dolls. One was too nice and expensive to really play with, and the other was a knitted rag doll.

5. What are your favourite things to do on weekends? They are many, starting from some pampering like pedicures, meeting friends for great conversations over a good meal at home or out, small excursions, a good concert or movie, and connecting on the phone or Skype with family members in faraway lands.

6. Did you have a hobby when you were a kid? I sang and played guitar and I had pen pals all over the world.

7. Are you a sporty type, or more the studious type?  Maybe you are both…! Definitely more of the studious type, but try to balance with walks, swims and gym visits.

8. If you were in a raft in the middle of the ocean, who would you like for company? Probably my son. He’s fun, would figure out how we’d get outta there, has big biceps for paddling with a piece of drift wood, and I can trust him – he wouldn’t dump me to the sharks.

9. Do you keep your birthday cards? Yes, I try to keep the paper cards and hope people don’t go totally e on me…

10. Is life what you expected as a child? No and yes. No because I had expected to be a medical doctor, but the first part of that did not materialize because my mom’s untimely death of cancer at 39. This was just when I was starting college and the experience made me re-evaluate my choice. But yes in the sense that I feel I’ve been able to improve the lives of some people and as a bonus I’ve seen much of the world. My life has even been fuller than I could ever image as a child. And I’m very grateful for that.

11. Do you have a pet? Yes, I have a little poodle. He is very loving and sweet, a rescue dog. He’s getting old now (about 91 years in people time) and has become completely blind – he’s still the best companion ever!

My eleven questions to the bloggers I’m going to “tag” are:

1. Are you shy or outgoing? Please elaborate.

2. Is your glass half full or half empty most of the time?

3. Which do you enjoy most, city or country side?

4. What’s your most foolish or unnecessary purchase ever?

5. Who is your favorite writer and why?

6. What kind of music do you listen to most?

7. What makes you frustrated, if anything?

8. What are you most grateful for just now?

9. What place in the world would you like to see (for the first time or again) and why?

10. What does faith mean to you?

11. Why do you blog? What motivates you?

To comply with all the award rules, I should nominate or tag over 50 blogs…but I will limit it to 20 – selected among the many wonderful blogs I enjoy/follow and have not yet mentioned in this post. I hope you find some new ones among them.





















congratulations flower

Congratulations to all nominees! Please feel free to select to be tagged, to receive/accept one of the three Awards (Versatile Blogger, Beautiful Blogger, Very Inspiring Blogger), or to do nothing at all if you don’t have the time to respond or have decided not to accept awards.

Whatever you do

please feel appreciated

and keep up posting!

XOXO – Tiny

Another Early Xmas Gift – Thank You!

Father Christmas has been very busy lately in the Blogging World. Lots of gifts delivered. As I am going to have very limited time in the next week or so, I thought I would thank for my other nomination as well and send a few more gifts before Xmas to new recipients.

My blog got another early Xmas gift: a Reality and Shine on Award. This combined award was granted by my dear friend at http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com/.  Her blog’s title is very telling. She is constantly exceeding the speed limit. If the reader’s expectation is going at 60, and that’s speedy already, her posts always speed at 75! I’m sure many of you are already following her sharp, colorful and timely observations of current events and her loving, humorous narrations of life at home, but if not, you can catch her now! Thank you so much the award, I really appreciate it. Brightens my day in these times of sadness.

The rules for this award seem to be fairly simple so I will try to follow them…
1. Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post
2. Add the award logo to your blog
3. Share 7 things about yourself (hmm, again? Are you going to read further…?)
4. Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers you admire
5. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know

So after doing number 1 and number 2, I will need to share 7 more things about myself. This is a bit hard as I have shared so much earlier, but here we go with a few confessions that all have some inner meaning to me:

I. I love story telling, whether in writing or just talking to an audience. I don’t make up the stories, they always have some grounding in my own experiences.

three elephants

II. Poetry is probably the easiest for me to write. It just “comes to me”. I often write it to encourage myself, to stay positive, hoping that the words will have the same effect on others.

fall at the lake

III. I love music. I listen a lot, but haven’t been playing much (guitar) lately. A new favorite is the Playing for Change movement (http://playingforchange.com/). Check it out.

Playing for Change Album

IV. I’m a bit lazy. Really. Just love to sit and think, observe the world. But paradoxically I feel I thrive more when I’m busy. Maybe that’s the underlying reason for continuing to work although I (so-called) retired early from my overly stressful full-time job and relocated to the beach. Not very good at saying no when the phone rings and something interesting and maybe a bit adventurous awaits. Keeping it manageable though…

in the air

V. I feel like a global citizen. What does that mean? To me it means that I have at least a very basic understanding of the world around me. I am curious about different cultures and people and I’d like to experience even more of this beautiful world than what I’ve had the opportunity to do up to now. Maybe I had a slightly nomadic streak when I was younger, but nowadays I truly appreciate my home as the solid base where my life in anchored.

Blue Africa - at home

VI. I am fascinated by history. Love to feel its “wings” when I visit old or ancient places. It helps me understand how we got here, to this particular time.

Ruins close to Taormina Italy

VII. I am quite sensitive, easily feel people’s sentiments, feel the essence in nature and like to be in touch with my God, “friends and family plan” for frequent calling.

misty lake

I hope I didn’t bore you too much? Now, I have the privilege to nominate a few more blogs that I admire, for this award. Here we go:

http://mselenalevontraveling.com/ – her recent adventures in Uganda with the gorilla family and her ongoing travel experiences are original and fascinating!

http://healthyazblog.wordpress.com/ – her blog inspires us all to live well!

http://lauralamere.com/ – she blogs about parenting creative kids, good advice and interesting stories!

http://livingtheseasons.com/ – her blog explores the beauty around us through photos, quotes and stories!

http://ollikekalainen.wordpress.com/ – his photos are exciting, guaranteed, every day!

Congratulations to all of you! And thank you for a wonderful year.

Santa says thank you!

In the meantime, I have received more stars for my Blog of the Year 2012 Award so now I have the “full set”! Thank you to Ivon, Jackie, Tazein (all blogs included in my previous post) and Laura.

Happy Holiday Season to all readers, whether you celebrate in snowy, rainy or sunny environments – it’s what’s in the heart that counts.

Three Stars…Thank You!

The recent days have been very sad here in the US and beyond. Meaningful words still feel difficult to come by. The blogging community, which I have come to truly appreciate and love in the past five months, angel drawinghas reacted to the sad news with many voices. Some have been immediate, shocked reactions and expressions of sympathy, others well-thought out articles with advice, and many, like myself, have been expressing their sadness through poetry and/or photography.

I thought I would dedicate today’s post to thanking for some of the award nominations my blog has received in recent weeks. Being nominated by friends who enjoy reading my blog encourages me to try to find the time to do what I love, namely to write and to work on the images to illustrate my words.

I want to thank Ivon at http://ivonprefontaine.com/ for nominating my blog for the first star in the Blog of the Year 2012 Award, Carolyn at http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/ for throwing the second star my way and Tazein at http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/ for granting my blog the third star. So now I have three stars for Xmas.

Thank you all so much for these stars. Much appreciated. I am a happy follower of all three blogs as I’m sure most of my readers are, but if you have not yet discovered these blogs, please click on the links now and take a tour!

The ‘rules’ for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award (from the creators of this award) are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!). I took special notice of that rule.

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…!

You will find the Award Designs (one to six stars) here.

I would like to grant a Blog of the Year 2012 Award to the following 20ish wonderful blogs that have been consistently on my read list since I discovered each of them:

http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com – you deserve multiple stars, but this particular one’s for becoming Freshly Pressed!

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com/ – congrats for your winning performance in NaNoWriMo!

http://thegreenstudy.com/ – a star for a great writer!

http://ivonprefontaine.com/ – one more for you, thank you for your always beautiful thoughts!

http://luggagelady.net/ – one star to put on your creative luggage!

http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/ – Carolyn, one back to you! You need a bigger design!

http://throughharoldslens.com/ – a star for the Maasai bracelet!

http://retireediary.wordpress.com/ – a more star in your collection of beautiful photos!

http://melodylowes.com/ – a frozen star to decorate one of your wonderful poems!

http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/ – one more star for your collection Tazein!

http://www.sperka.com/ – a star to guide the adventurous night drives in Thanda!

http://hikingphoto.com/ – a star to light up the night sky for your adventures in Maui!

http://kenneturner.com/ – a star to hide in one of your wonderful images!

http://ljlenehan.com/ – a star to light up your sky of touching poetry!

http://lizziejoysphotosuite.com/ – a star for the beautiful results of your classes!

http://keepingitrealmom.com/ – a star for always keeping it real – and very interesting!

http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/ – a star to top one of your beautiful twigs!

http://leannecolephotography.com/ – a star from a student to a wonderful teacher!

http://paharidotme.wordpress.com/ – a star for your continuous discovery!

http://cancerkillingrecipe.wordpress.com/ – a star for being the amazing Oneanna65!

http://camtaylor.net/ – a star for teaching us so skillfully about dealing with adversity!

http://letlifeinpractices.com/ – a star for your always excellent advice!

and finally an honorable mention to http://garyschollmeier.com/ – Gary, I assure you this is not an award 🙂 It’s just a little tiny mention for always discovering and picturing everyday beauty!


Congratulations to all of you and a big thank you for being here in the blogging world lighting up my days!

I have also been nominated for another award…but those rules are a bit different (and we’re already much beyond 700 words) so I’ll need to save that for a separate post.

Today I am thinking especially of blogging friends who are educators, and other teachers I know, and their students. Praying that they will both be and feel safe.

Lots of love.

Awards! አመሰግናለሁ!

I knew it! By writing  “thank you” or “ameseginalehugn” in the most difficult language I’ve ever learned (just for daily use when I lived in Ethiopia), Amharic, I got you to read this post 🙂 where I will showcase some excellent blogs by fellow bloggers. So please continue reading…and check them out!

Just over a month ago my blog for nominated for One Lovely Blog Award by Tazein at http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/. Thank you so much for the honor! Tazein’s touching blog tells her inspiring personal story of difficulties and discoveries in the form of stories, poems and inspirational quotes. If you are not already following her blog, please check it out today!

Kat who writes at http://crosshearted.wordpress.com/ nominated tiny lessons blog for a Very Inspiring Blog Award. Thank you Kat, I am happy you find my blog inspiring. Kat is a student in Edinburgh and she sees her blog as the place where she can be honest about her life and how she thinks through stories, poems and pictures. She is one of my newer acquaintances and I am learning to know her world through her blog. You can do too, by clicking on the link above.

A few days ago, my dear blogging friend at http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com/ nominated me for a Liebster Award. Thanks so much for this added encouragement! She is a bloggess whose blog I check every night for any new writings.  She makes me laugh a lot, nod or shake my head – her writing is humorous, sprinkled with sharp observations and so vivid that I feel I’m experiencing the situations she describes. Our lives have been very different but I feel like we’re old friends. If you are not already her regular reader, you have to check out her blog today!

All these award nominations come with a set of different rules, but as my readers already know, I am really poor at anything that requires me to do things in only one particular way.

So…now I will combine some of the rules a bit creatively by first answering a few questions and then nominating a few interesting blogs, that I have discovered more recently, for awards. I hope that will be fine with everyone.

I have told so many things about me in the blog and in connection with previous awards so I have selected the questions from the Liebster Award just because they are a bit different and definitely make me think a bit:

1) Is there a book you would never want to be parted from? Why?

This is a very difficult question for me because my interests are so multi-faceted. I am looking at the inbuilt bookshelf that covers a whole wall here in my office…it has my favorite sections of books: Art, travel, nature, earth & sciences, spiritual growth & self-improvement, some classic novels in several languages, poetry books and of course management books. My mystery novels and thrillers are in another room…several boxes! But if I have to choose, let it be “Change your thoughts – change your life” by Wayne Dyer. Why? Because I am still working on these issues, far from ready, and need to be constantly reminded!

2) Which six authors, living or dead, will you invite to join your new reading group? 

    The Persian poet Rumi, Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie and Wayne Dyer.

3) Book or Kindle? Would anything change this decision? 

I’m afraid it’d be my Kindle. It gives me so much freedom to read what I want, when I want and those books are stored in the cloud and do not require more bookshelves. What might possibly (but maybe not) change this decision is if someone donated me a huge mansion with a huge library…I simply do not have room for many more books here at home…

4) If you could study full-time or study full-time again what would you choose to learn about?

I think I might study sustainable community driven development or maybe psychology. 

5) Who would you write a biography of? What’s so special about them? 

I’d probably write about my paternal grandmother. She was an absolutely wonderful person and her life experiences spanned from the late 1800s to the 1990s. She lived through several wars and witnessed all the modern developments. But above all, she was an exceptional person, kind, wise and understanding, always there for anyone who needed help. A role model for a wide range of people, including me.

6) You’ve been asked to write an article for Condé Nast’s Traveller magazine on your favourite holiday destination. What is your opening sentence?

Driving towards the Luangwa River, we found a lioness with three cubs. They were partly hidden by bushes but the cubs were bouncing around playing so we spotted their movement in the high grass.

7) If you had to paint every wall in your house one colour what would it be? Why? I do not allow you white or magnolia.

I’d paint every wall in the color we have now (help! what is it called?). It’s a fairly light mix of natural earth colors (light green/light taupe’ish). It is the best color I’ve ever had in my home. It’s calming and allows other natural colors to be exhibited on the walls and throughout my home.

Thank you again for the nominations, much appreciated!

Now, the rules of the three awards call for 7-15 nominations, so I’d like to nominate the following blogs I have discovered more recently for a Liebster Blog Award (the same questions to answer and 7 blogs to nominate, if you accept the “tag”, please). They are very different, but all worth checking out:















If you are not already familiar with these blogs, today is a good time to pay a visit!

I wish all my dear blogging friends and all visitors a wonderful Thanksgiving week in the true spirit of gratitude and appreciation of life.

Appreciation in Multitude!

In the last couple of weeks, just before and during my recent trip, I have received the honor of four award nominations – from four truly wonderful bloggers. Thank you so much! I am very happy and encouraged!

I received One Lovely Blog Award from Ivon at  http://ivonprefontaine.wordpress.com/. His blog Teacher as Transformer always offers words of wisdom with beautiful nature photos, and invites us to follow our personal path. His thoughts and poems make me quiet down and reflect on what is important. I read his blog regularly and invite you to discover it too!

I also received One Lovely Blog Award from http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com/. I visit her blog every day for sharp and humorous observations and discussions about practically anything in life.  Always right on the money! She makes me laugh, smile and nod or shake my head. Her blog was recently Freshly Pressed – you have to check it out!

I was nominated for an award of my choice (see below!) by http://fortyteencandles.com/. Her blog is super interesting. She is a writer and I hope she’ll do the “Na.No.Wri.Slo” if not the “Na.No.Wri.Mo” to be on the N.Y. Times best seller list! I have followed her blog for quite a while, and you should pay a visit today too!

This week I was also nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by http://healthyazblog.wordpress.com/. Her blog inspires us to live well, not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually! I have found her blog both interesting and inspiring. Lots of good stuff there! Please go visit her blog today!

Thank you all four great bloggers for these nominations!

Now, trying to follow the rules, I will need to tell something about me. Here we go with seven things that I don’t remember sharing previously:

  1. I have a granddaughter who is 2.5 years old. She is a bundle of joy – and energy! She loves music and recently entertained me with her own song and dance performance. I laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes.  XOXO to our little goof ball!
  2. I love nature (obvious from my blog, huh?), particularly wild animals of any kind, all kinds of waterways whether oceans, lakes, rivers, marshes, streams or just puddles, and beautiful trees and flowers. I also love mountains, and….yeah, basically all of it.
  3. I try to keep fit by walking a lot. My little dog loves it too so I have an eager walking buddy. And occasionally I force myself to go to the gym, but I am a lousy “enforcer” on that one…
  4. I have held driver’s permits from numerous countries/states. I wish I could have kept them as memorabilia…The one from Zambia was a “book” –  bigger than my passport, and when our son was about 3 years old, he used it to demonstrate he could write a huge capital A. On the second page – with a black permanent marker!  That’s the initial of my first name. A like in Tiny. I think he wanted to make sure everyone would know it was mine.
  5. I wish my first name was Ann, but it’s not. My name is so rare that when googled, all of me pops up. That’s a bit of a nuisance in this age of www-dot, so Tiny is better. And it’s polite too, Tiny like in small. I wish I was!
  6.  In second grade, I was hit by a baseball bat right on my nose during a practice session in the PE class. When I woke up I saw the classic view of my teachers and fellow pupils bending over me. Heads and blue sky. My nose was the size of a mountain for a long time, my eyes peering out just a little – outward in different directions on both sides. I got some free time in the middle of the term, great!
  7. I am continuously involved in one conversation or another, with family and friends (including blogging friends), but particularly with my inner self and with God.

Now, bending the rules a little bit again, I will nominate 15-20 very different blogs that I like to read for an award. There are many more wonderful blogs I enjoy and follow, but I have left out those blogs that have huge followings and some that I nominated/showcased just a little while ago.

Learning from my friend FortyteenCandles, the nominees can choose their award from those above!  Just display the award, tell something about yourself and share the encouragement further at your convenience! I’ve been following some of the nominated blogs for quite a while, but there are also some that I have discovered fairly recently. They are all very different, but inspiring in their own way, and definitely worth your visit!

http://retireediary.wordpress.com/ – beautiful photos and narratives from all over the world!

http://hikingphoto.com – stunning, gorgeous photography – and advice for “the advanced”!

http://christiansperka.wordpress.com/ – wonderful wildlife photography with narratives from Thanda Game Reserve in South Africa!

http://ivonprefontaine.wordpress.com/ – wisdom, poetry with photos, thoughtful reflections!

http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com/ – humor, topical issues, sharp & quick – always!

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com/ – wonderful, imaginative short stories! Is there a book in the making soon?

http://mixolydianblog.wordpress.com/ – music and music stories!

http://everywhereonce.com/ – travel, beautiful photos, advice and observations!

http://lizziejoysphotosuite.com/ – recent discovery, divine photography!

http://livingtheseasons.com/ – new discovery, wonderful photography with narratives, lots of nature and flowers!

http://garyschollmeier.com/– beautiful observations in the form of photos on daily basis!

http://1001scribbles.wordpress.com/ – recent discovery, wonderful photos, videos from all over the place!

http://globalunison.wordpress.com/ – recent discovery, beautiful poetry, photos and stories!

http://hugmamma.com/ – always good stuff for soul and mind!

http://thispoet.wordpress.com/ – beautiful and thoughtful poetry!

http://fortyteencandles.com – take 20 minutes of your life back! And other good stuff!

http://healthyazblog.wordpress.com/– be encouraged and inspired to live well!

http://aleafinspringtime.wordpress.com/ – new discovery, wonderful stories, poems and photos for enjoyment!

Thank you to all nominees for sharing inspiring stories, photos and/or poetry! I greet you all with a “thank you flower” that gently bends over the path we travel. And wish you a beautiful day.

A Thank You Note for Multiple Awards – Presenting the REALITY Blog Award

I want to thank my blogging friends for nominating my blog for several awards in the last couple of weeks! I feel truly HHA about it (honored, humbled and appreciated)! I am not very good at following any rules, which I’m sure many of my readers will have observed by now. But I want to express my sincere thanks while also using the opportunity to showcase those who nominated me and some of the blogs I enjoy reading. So here we go

 nomination by Justme143 ( http://lisalaliberte143.wordpress.com/). Her blog “Here’s The Thing…” talks crisply and with insight about many facets of life, now particularly from the perspective of a military family living abroad. Please visit her blog today!

nomination by jjoyv  (http://lifetextures.wordpress.com/). Her blog “Life Textures” is very interesting and as she says it is  “absolutely everything you can imagine. Every thought spoken or unspoken, every moment of happiness and sadness, every dream you dream”. Life Textures is well worth your visit!

by Derek Kortepeter (http://mixolydianblog.wordpress.com/). Derek is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who also studies ethnic music. He is passionate about music and has a variety of interesting posts on his music pages. I love his postings about ethnic music in particular. Please pay a visit and see what I am talking about!

 Last, but not least, I received this special new award from Jackie at http://changeforbetterme.wordpress.com/. This is her super interesting food blog, but she also has another blog “To Breathe is to Write” that I read regularly for lively and lovely short stories and mysteries (see below). Please stop by and get hooked. It is very EE (easy & enjoyable) to be her regular reader!

Once again, thank you for nominating my blog for these awards!

All of these awards have different “rules” so here comes my opportunity to be a bit creative! All of them call for some information about me. It’s a bit tricky because I often talk from my own personal perspective in my posts and have already told 7 things about me earlier. So I am going to answer the questions presented for the Liebster Blog Award:

Here are 5 questions that Here’s the Thing is asking for those nominated:

1) If you were given the chance to change something what would you change?

This is an open-ended question, so I want to say that I would change the fact that my son still needs a surgery on his leg, scheduled for tomorrow.

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would you want to be again?

Age? I have never really thought about my age (wrote once about that), but if I had an opportunity, I’d probably want to relive the year I was 32.

3) What one thing really scares you?

Huh, I try not to have fear in my life, but we’re all human, so that would probably be loss of anyone dear to me.

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it.

Oh, I know the answer to that one! It would be writing a book that would bring inspiration to many others. I hope I can do it. Practicing for that project now…

5) If you could be someone else for the day, who would you be?

Hmm, a difficult choice. It would probably be someone from another time…someone like the Persian poet Rumi. I’d like to learn more about his inspiration.

So now I am going to get even more creative! I will nominate 20 very different blogs (photography, poetry, short stories, food, insightful observations, travel stories) I visit on a fairly regular basis for the brand new “Reality Blog Award”. There would have been many more to nominate, but I already took the liberty to nominate 20…so I’ll leave a few for the next time 🙂

I also won’t repeat those blogs who nominated me for these awards because they are already showcased above and I trust you will visit them! This award does not go with any specific “rules”. Instead each nominee can do whatever feels good to them, but I hope they will take the nomination as a sign of appreciation and encouragement.

This is how the newly designed Award looks like and these are the nominees in no particular order:





















Congratulations and thanks to all the nominees! I hope you visit their blogs if not already familiar with them.


OMG Three Awards! Thank You!

Oh, now I’m speechless! And that’s not very often :), but being nominated for blog awards is a completely new and unexpected experience, and a great honor. It’s surprising, humbling and pleasant all at the same time.


So this is to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my blogging friend Change For Better Me who has taken me on some amazing culinary adventures around the globe!  Thanks to her, I am now learning to follow recipes when I cook! Slowly but surely. Thank you so much for nominating a complete novice on blogging for  the “Inspiring Blog Award” and  the “One Lovely Blog Award.”  I will try my best to live up to those words. Dear readers, make sure to visit her lovely and  inspiring blog today!

 This afternoon I also received the Beautiful Blogger Award from a friend blogger and writer Shirley Sorbello whose recent post “No More Shoulds” made me decide to take action on several things I’d been procrastinating on. THANKS SO MUCH Shirley! I am honored and I wish you all the success in your writing career and in particular on the short story and the novel you have in the works right now! Readers, please check out her beautiful blog!

These awards come with some rules and expectations. First, I have to tell 7 things about myself, which wouldn’t be difficult if I hadn’t already told so many things on my “about page” and in my postings to date. But here I go in an attempt to add to the mix:

1. I bought my first cell phone in winter of 1997, the day after I had managed to get home with .5 gallons remaining in my tank, late at night in a snow storm, driving the D.C. beltway (495) the wrong way around (meaning 3 times the distance I had to) coming home from a work event in a new neighborhood.

2. I actually ran out of diesel once – almost reached the pump. That was in Ethiopia, and they had to blow air through  the whole system before I could fill my tank again. Needless to say the guys at the pump had fun.

3. I’m a good driver, that’s written on my licence, although I’m sure my son would beg to differ (he thinks I make up my own rules at times). My dog gratefully accepts a ride any time. And I tell Ms. Nuvi to shut up when she tells me to turn onto a street that doesn’t exist. She tells me to update my maps. So we have a constructive dialogue.

4. I love nature in all its expressions – apart from wild storms. Although adventurous, I would never become a tornado chaser or a hurricane hunter.

5.  I wrote a book once. It was nonfiction and focused on health care in developing countries. Lots of research went into it, including in the field.

6. I love food from all over the world, whether Ethiopian injera with wot, Swedish meatballs, Costa Rican empanadas, spicy Gulf shrimp, Alaskan wild salmon, tapas from Spain, Italian pasta, Texas T-bone, Chinese crispy chicken…you name it.

7. I think integrity is very important in all dealings between people – on the top of my wish list, together with kindness.

Second, I now get the privilege to nominate up to 15 + 7 blogs that I like to read for these awards.  It is a difficult task because there are many more blogs that I follow and/or like to read. So I tried to select those that best fit my understanding of each of these three awards.The following blogs are vastly different, some showcase art, photography and travel, some provide wise counsel, others  contain beautiful poems, some others offer good food and others yet discuss life in a lovely and engaging manner. All of them offer inspiration and are lovely and beautiful in their own way and absolutely worth your visit. Here we go in no particular order:

My nominations for the “One Lovely Blog” Award are:









My nominations for the Inspiring Blog Award are:








And my nominations for the Beautiful Blogger Award are:








Congratulations to all the nominees! I will notify you on your own blog as soon as possible.

It is, indeed, wonderful to be part of the blogging community. I hope you agree.