Sunshine Award!

sunshine awardIt’s always exciting when a fellow blogger drops by to bestow an award. Today Confessions of a part-time working mom gave me the prestigious (!) Sunshine Award. I’m honored, and will be happy to play by the rules and give you seven random facts about myself, answer some questions, and pass on the love.

Right now I’m beaming sweetly at three pets and two men with all of my happy, sunshiny warmth. Excuse me? I’m a writer. I can spin this any way I want to! Neatly attired, makeup in place, hair coiffed, I am flitting around on this Sunday morning cleaning, baking, and spreading joy. As usual. Honest.





Ahem. Shall we?

The Rules:
Display the award on your blog. Give 7 random facts about yourself. Answer the questions I had to answer. Then nominate any amount of bloggers you choose up to 11.

My 7 Facts:

  1. Being in the garden grounds me. During the winter I drool over seed catalogs the way men drool over Victoria’s Secret catalogs. I close my eyes and imagine the heat of the sun on my shoulders, and am happy waiting for spring.
  2. I am an empath. I often feel pain and distress that others are feeling, even if they are just acting a part. I have a terrible time watching a movie where someone is being hurt – emotionally or physically. It also makes me uncomfortable around strong emotions of any sort. I won’t deny you a shoulder to cry on, but will be very, very happy when everything’s back to normal.
  3. I dog-ear books, which is a bad habit that I’ve been trying hard to break. Don’t lend me any books! I have so many bookmarks for this purpose, but still catch myself reaching for that upper right hand corner of the page.
  4. I can’t resist black licorice in any form.
  5. Housework is the devil. I do as much as I must just to be socially acceptable, but hate every minute of it. I did a lot of it when I was growing up; can I blame this issue on my parents?
  6. I am “Eema” to my grandchildren, “Lorinda” to my past co-workers, “Lor” to my sisters and friend Mary, and “Lucy” to my husband. I’ll pretty much answer to anything.
  7. I have no memory for faces. Unless I know you well, if we meet in the grocery store I will probably make generic conversation until I’ve placed you. It’s not intentional…just something I struggle with.

My Questions:

1. If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
Answer: Work is just work. Don’t take it home! Scrape your feet off going out the company door and come home happy.

2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Answer: Seriously? You expect me to choose just one? I have it narrowed down to three, but that’s the best I can do. Second runner-up is Rocky Road. First runner-up is Chocolate Chip Mint. And the winner is….Maple Nut.

3. If you were to take me on a date, where would we go and why?
Answer: The Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. We bonded over maple and chocolate – what could be more appropriate?

4. Above all else, what are you afraid of?
Answer: SPIDERS!!!

5. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Answer: Start a bakery.

6. What has been your favorite age to be and why?
Answer: 52. That’s when we retired and moved to the country. I felt strong and energetic and incredibly free.

7. Coffee or tea?
Answer: No contest! I love, love, love coffee. I even roasted my own beans until I blew up my little makeshift roaster. Some day I’ll get a real one and try again. I drink tea too, but I’m not passionate about it.

Well, that’s certainly enough about me. How about YOU:

Real Life Parenting
The Aliso Kitchen
Dried-on Milk
Crumbs in my Mustachio
Tampa Cake Girl
Hun, What’s for dinner?
Fresh Eggs Daily
Lemony Thyme
Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom
Manila Spoon

They Like Me! They Really, Really Like Me!


A Liebster Award? For me? Thank you, God…my prayers were answered!

Yesterday I was given the dubious thrilling honor of receiving a prestigious Liebster Award!

For those of you who have never heard of this, go ahead and do what I had to do: Google it! If you can’t muster up the interest to do that, I guess I can sum it up for you. It’s an award given to small blogs by another blogger. As the recipient, I’m expected to graciously accept the award, produce 11 facts about myself, answer 11 questions by the presenter, and then award 11 other small bloggers with the same…um…opportunity.

I went from being very excited (An award? For me? Seriously?) to reluctant (Oh crap, I have so much to do right now, and how am I going to narrow my favorite baby blogs down to 11?) to intrigued (Wonder what the questions will be? Can I poke fun at people?) but realize it all boils down to one thing: if we didn’t like talking about ourselves and our lives, we wouldn’t be bloggers. I mean, who can resist spilling 11 facts about yourself? People do it all the time on those stupid Facebook “tests”, right?

So thanks to my presenter, Bill Peebles of ihopeiwinatoaster and stay-at-home-dad extraordinaire, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for!



  1. Creativity is much more important to me than a clean house. Much MUCH more important!
  1. I coach myself a lot. In other words, I talk to myself a lot. You know, stuff like: “c’mon, you can do it. Just put away ten more dishes and you can have a cup of coffee!” It keeps me focused, but my husband just shakes his head sadly at me.
  1. I talk a lot about drinking, but actually one glass of wine kicks my butt. I am, however, quite witty after that glass of wine, if you catch me somewhere between the last sip and being passed out on the couch. Once again, I get the head shake.
  1. I love to feed people, animals, parking meters…basically anything that I can fill. I’m sure Freud would have a lot to say about that.
  1. I live one emergency away from the brink of disaster at all times. That’s what living on a retirement income with a baking habit can do to you!
  1. Apparently I’m the only woman I know who was disappointed with  “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The story had some redeeming qualities, but the writing didn’t. I like smutty novels, and this had its moments…but really, whips and handcuffs? Spanking, though…hmm. No. NO! Give me Nora Roberts any day.
  1. I could live the rest of my life without television. I couldn’t live a day without a book!
  1. I want to do things myself. Not like kill spiders and clean out the septic tank…I mean challenging, basic things like making my own flour, roasting coffee, making soap, and growing and canning food. Even when it would have been a lot quicker and possibly even cheaper to go the easy route, I’m just like a two year old: “I do it myself!”
  1. From the time I cracked open my first Louisa May Alcott book I imagined myself in a garret with ink-stained fingers, writing my heart out. Now I’m a geriatric blogger. Good enough!
  1. If it has butter, sugar, and flour in it I like it. If it contains chocolate, I love it. If it has all of those ingredients AND is frosted, I’m over the moon. Which is why I can’t fit into my high school cheerleader outfit. Bwahahaha. Gotcha. Cheerleader? Not even close.
  1. I have my mother’s recipe box, and my grandmother’s. If I do this right, my children will be able to look up my recipes on Google! If my fantasies play out, they’ll have copies of my published recipe books, with my hope that they never cave in to fake food – and always let the flour fly!

And now for  sadistic Mr. Peebles’ questions:

1.  Were you pleasantly surprised or slightly irritated when I tagged you with this?

2.  Do you think I am sorry for that?
My first thought was “not one little bit”, but the more I read your blog, the more I saw sensitivity and a deep respect for…well, respect! So you probably are staying awake nights, worrying that those you bestowed this honor upon are overwhelmed and miserable. Serves you right.

3.  If you were to smack me upside the head for passing this on to you with your favorite book, which book would that be?
Oh, you are NOT going to like this. The book is over 600 pages, and if I used my hardback copy it would put a good dent in your melon! It’s “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon. I read the whole series every winter without fail.

4.  If you had back the (enter minutes spent on this exercise here), what would you do with them?
Minutes? Huh. I’d say you’re delusional. I’ve spent at least 4 hours on this, but it’s been pretty fun so far. I would tell you I’d spend them cleaning up the garden or making applesauce, but in reality I probably would have been playing around on Facebook or reading.

5.  Do you think perfect strangers should stalk around the Internet and bestow odd awards and ask random questions? Why or why not?
Oh, hell yes. Stalking is what the Internet is all about, right? And don’t we all love talking about ourselves?

6.  How can words be so beautiful to read and so frightening to write?
Our words are always being judged. That’s frightening, because even when we’re being light and snarky, we’re actually baring our souls.

7.  Do you like my hat?
Huh? I see no hat. Here…I’ll find one for you.

This one?

Or maybe this one?

I like ’em both, Bill!

8.  How many hotdogs do you consume on a weekly basis?
Oooh, this is a toughie. I go weeks without eating one, and then do the whole hotdog binge thing. So averaged out…one? You’re taxing my brain here.

9.  You seem like a decent person, how did you become so?
Okay, now you’ve done it. I have to get serious here. I had an amazing family, and a wonderful childhood. I’ve noticed that a lot of my favorite bloggers had to overcome broken homes and other rough situations. They’re a lot funnier than I am, so I’m guessing there’s a correlation there. If I hadn’t lived in a “Father Knows Best” type of environment, I  would probably be a lot more entertaining!

10.  Pop-up toaster or toaster over?
Oh, toaster over all the way 😉

11.  Where do you physically blog, as in, where are you right now and, did you ever suspect blogging would be this damned complicated?
Um. Technically, that was two questions, but I won’t quibble. The dining room table. I keep it “public” so my husband doesn’t think I’m flirting with my hundreds of male admirers. Actually, my laptop is ancient, and it gets HOT on my lap. I don’t know if blogging is complicated, but the plugins and tags and links and widgets sure are! I’m totally out of my comfort zone. I’m even intimidated by the “WordPress for Dummies” book sitting next to me right now.

So. I’ve done my part, and will now torture 11 other recipients with a psyche-scrubbing, angst-producing questionnaire of my own.

I’d like to thank all the little people who made this possible…

And here are my 11 questions for the poor suckers selected few who will no doubt impress us with their insights and wit!

1. Writing: catharsis or expression?
2. Which writer has influenced you the most?
3. How do you cope with constant distractions?
4. Are you still having fun with the blog? When it stops being fun will you quit?
5. What cramps your writing style?
6. What is your worst habit?
7. Early to bed or night owl?
8. Do you multitask when you’re writing or is it all business?
9. Do you play an instrument?
10. What would you rather be doing right now?
11. Do you laugh at your own material?

The Rules:

1.  Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2.  Answer the 11questions the awarder has given you, the awardee.
3.  You, now the awarder, create 11 questions for your nominees, who are now the awardees.
4.  Choose 11 awardees, link to their website, and notify them.
5.  No award-backs.

This is taking me a while, but here are the blogs I’ve contacted so far:
Marvelous Mo’ and Me
Our Life In Food
Cluttered Genius