Yesterday, I received my first blogger award - The Stylish Blogger Award:
Now that made me laugh, because I'm anything but stylish - but then, the person who nominated me (also a recipient of the award) confesses she, too, is not 'stylish'. At least, not in the fashion sense. So perhaps the person who first named this award was referring more to writing style than fashion sense. I certainly hope so.
Anyway, the rules of this award are as follows:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!
So thank you, EvenSong, from Mountain Music, whose blog has taught me a lot about the multifaceted work of raising horses and the art of trailriding, and whose photos and words give me glimpses of a person and several animals whose company I think I would very much enjoy if we were ever to meet.
I was very tempted to steal her list of ‘seven things about myself’, since at least three or four of them fit me to a tee. Instead, I have stolen only one of her ideas – the first one – as it is apropos given the name of the award.
Seven things about me:
1. I am not stylish. Okay, I could argue that I have my OWN style – it is “Comfort Rules”. If I don’t like the texture, the fit, the fabric, I won’t wear it. There hasn't been a dress or a skirt in my closet for over ten years, and I haven’t worn one since February 1997 when I wore a long skirt to my wedding to appease my (now former) mother-in-law who would have died on the spot had I shown up in pants. I like cotton pants and cotton knit shirts. For dressy occasions, I’ll add a blazer. My dogs are more stylish than I am.
You betcha! We gotz style!
Whazzat? Speak fer yerself!
2. I hate clutter. Can’t abide it. Can’t function in it. If my house/office/kitchen/workspace gets cluttered, it has to be de-cluttered before I can get anything productive done (which is probably why I sometimes go for days without being productive!). If I’m facing a deadline, I sometimes resort to putting all the clutter into a laundry basket and stashing it in the closet for a day or two. I never have more than one full laundry basket stashed in there, and even my linen cupboards and clothes closets are nearly always tidy. Clutter immobilizes me.
3. I am an RP – a Recovering Perfectionist. After years and years of having to do something perfectly or not do it at all, I now subscribe to the philosophy of “Good Enough”. This blog entry is “good enough”, that flower bed is ‘good enough’. I used to obsess over getting something perfect. I started on the road to recovery when I was in university struggling to get perfect marks while single-handedly raising a young child, and having trouble with both activities. A counselor I was seeing said to me, “Jean, you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be Good Enough”. They were life-changing words. There has been lots of backsliding, but I do constantly tell myself ‘that’s Good Enough”. I’m a good enough friend and family member, a good enough animal caregiver, a good enough fixer-and-builder, a good enough housekeeper. Well, except for the “no clutter” thing – for that, I have to be perfect.
4. I love my daughter but I hated being a parent. Perhaps my one regret in life is that I did not enjoy motherhood, and therefore did not give my daughter the sort of love-and-laughter-filled, secure, magical childhood every kid deserves. And I’m sure she sensed my ambivalence, even dislike, of parenting. That said, I was a Good Enough mom (see #3), and she has become an amazing woman. And, I might add, she has LOTS of style. She’s one of the classiest women I know. So much for the idea that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Or if it did, it rolled far, far away, took root, and grew into a beautiful Indian Bean Tree or maybe a mimosa.
Me. The Mom. The Apple Tree.
....or maybe the light and graceful mimosa.
5. I was fortunate to grow up in a great little oceanside community, with supportive parents. They were active in our school and church lives and took on major roles in Guiding and Scouting, to which we all belonged. My friends and I went from grade 1 to grade 12 together - the same group of kids. I had roots and stability, and they served me well.
6. I love living alone with just my animals. I love being accountable to no one. I love choosing when to be social and when not to be. I have been married twice – once when I was too young to know better (I am now a firm believer that no one should get married before age 30 – they aren’t even close to figuring out who they are and what they want to become!), and once when I was old enough to know better and did anyway. Suffice it to say, both were baaaad decisions. My first marriage ended just after the birth of my daughter, and the second began twenty-six years later, after she left home. That one ended five years ago, and I've never been happier than I am today.
If I should ever meet someone with whom I want to spend the rest of my life (a highly unlikely scenario, as I have no interest in doing so!), we would have to live in seperate sides of a duplex. I might agree to an adjoining door between the two units as long as there was a lock on it. I like my privacy and I like my solitude. I am me, not someone’s ‘other half’. And I am a servant only to my critters.
7. Although I was born in England (we immigrated to Canada when I was five), I am Canadian through and through. I have no desire to live in or even travel to any other country. Everything I could ever want to see or experience is right here in this beautiful country – ocean and mountains and prairies, history and modernity, cultural diversity and celebration and natural wonders. My favourite memories are those of camping and hiking and fishing my way around this province, as a child and as an adult. My favourite birthday, my 50th, was spent sitting in a small boat all by myself in the middle of a clear greenish blue mountain lake at sunrise on a crisp September morning. As the sun slowly stretched its golden arms and peeked over the hills, I caught a rainbow trout which I would later cook over an open fire at my campsite along the water’s edge while I listened to the loons and watched white fluffy clouds pass overhead across the wide blue sky. I am Canadian. This is my home.
Now for the difficult part - to which blogs should I pass on the award?
Most that I follow regularly concern animals. I've often provided links to the Hearts on Noses Potbellied Pig website, but not so often to their seperately-hosted Hearts on Noses blog. I'm a regular reader of the Turtle Gardens blog, about animal rescue in the northern part of our province.
I also love reading Bikesbirdsnbeasts, Crooks and Crazies, Haiku Farm, and BlackDogBlog. And I can't leave out Erin Vey's blog. Erin is a dog photographer who has been on maternity leave, but still posts from time to time - amazing photos of her dog Gracie, of clients' dogs, and most recently of Gracie and Maggie, her baby. And of course there is Wootube, whose humour and photography keep me coming back over and over.
I've recently revisited a couple of blogs I'd almost forgotten about - Vet on the Edge, and Indefatigable. I plan to go back more often.
Some I have only just discovered and I'm now hooked on, like Littledogsonlongleashes. Sometimes written by the dog, sometimes by the human, always fun and interesting.
Some blogs have little to do with animals, though I found them via a link from an animal blog - check out The Trials of Matt, for example. Matt adopted a Turtle Gardens dog who goes with him on his many hiking and skiing adventures in my beautiful province. Amazing mountain scenery.
Other bloggers that I followed faithfully seem to have stopped blogging. I miss them. I know some are now posting on Facebook, instead, but I don't do Facebook so I want them BAAACK. In particular, I miss Patience Please. Go leave her a comment and tell her to start blogging again! Another is The Inman Road Chronicles - I miss reading about my favourite little donkey, Rupert.
And then there is the one that was featured on the morning news this week. I spent an hour looking at it and I'm going back - it is funny, it is honest, it is a blog I wish had been around when I was the mom of a young child. Every parent out there, and every one who is thinking about parenting or has ever thought about parenting, needs to check out Her Bad Mother.
I think that's fifteen. I know I probably won't get around to notifying every one of those bloggers about the award. But that's okay - it's Good Enough. Hopefully, they will see the increased traffic on their sites and follow the link back to mine. If you are mentioned here, consider yourself awarded. And even if you aren't mentioned here, know that if I read your blog regularly I consider it worthwhile - so help yourself to the award. And then pass it forward.