I guess if you’re German, Liebster really isn’t all that fun for you to say, since you’re used to it and all. But I’ve been having a blast repeating it to anyone in hearing range today, trying out all sorts of inflections with it. I’m even thinking of driving by our Volkswagen plant and yelling it out across the parking lot this afternoon. No worries. If I pronounce it as well as I did mijn Nederlandse, no one will understand it mixed with muh Southernese anyway. (You can check out my post, Hope Be Dam’ed, if you’re the slightest bit interested in that story.)
Upon first receiving notice of this good fortune bestowed upon me by Mama Bear Musings (who was kind enough to take notice of my blog & who you can visit by following her link), I may have had some delusions of grandeur, thinking it might be akin to an Academy Award. That being the case, admittedly, I panicked a little, worried that my designer dress might end up on People’s Worst Dressed list; or that I might trip up and do a face plant on the red carpet; or, worst of all, that I could potentially leave someone important out during my acceptance speech – you know, like maybe Jesus (because I’m sure any accolades I earn are top priority in his day, probably coming in a close second to feeding his sheep). And yet, here I am…not the least bit ashamed at being a showy braggart.
In truth, the award sounded suspiciously like a crustacean at first, leaving me a little concerned that perhaps Mama Bear was suggesting my blog be returned as a bottom-feeder within a vast sea of ramblers (then covered with kelp for good measure).
If that’s the case, then Eugene Uttley, at Welcome to Uttley’s Take! (who is a premiere haikuist – okay, so I sort of made that designation up. What would you call a haiku artist-writer type, if you’re so smart?!), must have thought I was doubly deserving for being called out as such – as his came to me while I was furiously working to get my makeup and hair designers lined up.
I was relieved to discover that it actually meant something much nicer and more thoughtful than what I had originally conjured up. Once it dawned on me that it was German, I thought, ‘Hey, my maternal grandmother was German, but I never heard her call me by that name.’ I’m not sure if that says more about her as a person or me…
|German – Liebster
|(der) n. sweetheart, beloved person, darling
I was more relieved to find out I didn’t have to shell out any shillings for my hair or makeup (which would really defeat the purpose of getting to blog in your
underwear casual clothing, wouldn’t it?)
So here’s the deal with the Lobster – I mean, Liebster Award.
This award is given to up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers (See? I’m a cheater already. I think I’ve gained a few more than that in the past couple of weeks); the person nominated needs to answer eleven questions and nominate eleven other bloggers, ask them eleven questions in turn and then comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve been nominated.
Ok, maybe it sounds a little chain letter-ish. (I hope you’ve figured out by now that, as usual, I’m just carrying on in gist!) The real reason for this award and the 11’s rule is to build community with fellow bloggers. I’m thrilled to do that, as each day, I’m privileged to either meet someone new or to learn something new about a fellow blogger. And that’s what makes this such a cherished award!
So here were my 11 questions from Mama Bear, in informal interview format.
1. What are your thoughts on life?
Some days I think, “Life stinks.” But mostly, I’m in awe as to how life is formed and the beautiful ways in which it can be lived and shared with others.
2. What was your favorite toy from childhood?
My basketball. I shot that thing against the old goal post in my driveway from the time I couldn’t make it until the time I always could. That was my down time, my processing time, my lick-my-wounds-and-heal time, my way to get away from the rest of the world time. It served as a good memory of how my life once looked when my mom was full of health, running up and down the court with a whistle in her mouth, as I paraded around the gym as a little girl. And on the best occasions, it was my family time with my dad.
3. Which do you prefer; Star Trek or Star Wars?
Wow, you ask tough questions. Well, I was a long-time Trekky (or is it Trekkie? this makes me look like an imposter) of The Next Generation, when Jean-Luc Picard was Captain of the Enterprise. And I loved the remake of Star Trek at the theaters in 09. But then there’s Hans Solo, Chewie,Yoda, C3P0, R2D2…How can you ask me to make such decisions?!
4. What is your favorite fruit?
Raspberries – they have that sweet and tart thing going on. (So do kiwis, but they have to be peeled.) I found some wild raspberries once while trekking the Upper Peninsula and thought I’d stumbled into hiking heaven. I usually keep a stash in the fridge at work (’cause 1 cup’s only a whopping 64 calories or so).
5. What is your favorite vegetable?
Celery – with peanut butter slapped in the middle. (Here’s even better caloric news. Celery is a negative calorie food. Okay, so peanut butter isn’t…what’s your point?!)
6. What scares you the most?
Realizing that it is possible to fail as a parent – that you can try your very hardest and give your all to succeed at this ultimately important duty; but there’s always the potential that you could’ve missed one of the most essential lessons – and then not know until it’s too late.
7. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Tea, but only the way my son makes it for me: Brew the tea. Add a little OJ, drain the pineapple juice from a non-sweetened can of rings, a little almond extract, a little vanilla extract, some organic sugar to taste, and fill remainder of the large container with water. (Let the pineapple rings float around if you’re feeling fancy.) It’s like taking a sip of sunshine into your mouth!
8. What is your favorite genre to read?
Well…I enjoy any story that comes with some meaning attached and where the characters are able to overcome themselves along the way. A little action and some romance thrown in always keep it fun, but the story needs to be about something more stirring than sex and violence. In and of themselves, those are easy to find on their own, without deeper meaning, in the real world. (That sounded better than, “I’m not sure,” didn’t it?)
9. Do you prefer living in the city or country? Why?
I can operate between realms, but I’m a country girl at heart. When I leave the city each day and head into the suburbs, there’s a magical spot of country sitting square in “the between” where I often pause or pull over to enjoy the pastures. My favorite get away is off in the mountains where creeks abound and rivers wind through – and where I try to spend as much of my free time as possible to revive my soul.
10. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
I probably just answered that above – where I can find mountains and rivers with white water to explore and quiet, clean air to breathe.
11. What is your favorite bird?
Hawks always capture my attention when I see them soaring high overhead. I’ve often fancied the idea of flying, but there are some other things I appreciate about the hawk. Hawks are pretty daring, setting some impressive feats in both carrying prey and mating in mid-air. Mates are usually monogamous, with the two working together to create and improve their nest, as well as share the burden of caring for their eggs. Seems like a pretty good system to me.
And, my 11 questions from Uttley (if you’re actually still reading this!):
1. What’s one activity that gives you great satisfaction?
<Blushing> I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to answer that in this forum.
Okay, I’ll behave. Completing my first novel a few months ago brought me tremendous satisfaction. (I might have even greater satisfaction if I could figure out how to break the Query Letter secret code or handshake.)
2. What’s one thing you do that you kind of wish you didn’t?
Snort sometimes when I laugh – because then I have to say “oops, I snorted” – and my dad gave me this terrible nickname, “Snort” because of it (at least that’s my best guess as to why I got pinned with that)
3. What’s one thing you don’t do that you kind of wish you did?
Held my tongue on occasion. One of my colleagues says they can always count on me to say what everyone else is thinking. (Transparency only serves those well who appreciate clean views, you know. Everyone else is afraid they’ll fly into it & break their necks, like an overzealous bird.)
4. When was a time in your life when you took a chance (something risky)?
My dad would’ve said from the moment my feet hit the floor every morning. (I’ll have to tell you sometime about the day he caught me flying over the wall, off my bike, in midair – the bike he told me not to ride down our very steep hill, incidentally.)
5. When have you surprised yourself?
When I find myself being more patient and allowing things to work themselves out – without my interference. I’ve actually gotten much better at that lately – and it catches me by surprise each & every time.
6. When people meet you, what do you suppose is one of the first things they notice?
I’m told it’s my smile – that it’s contagious. I hope that’s true because it’s a purposeful expression that’s meant to infect my world.
7. Once people get to know you, what do they learn about you?
That I love deeply and beyond offense (and, yes, some have even taken advantage of that)
8. What has been your most memorable travel experience?
Traveling to the Holy Land.
9. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, can you compose a limerick about yourself?
There once was Jody, this chic
who thought, at times, she was slick.
Others were quick to burst her bubble,
when she oft got herself into trouble…
Then she learned “grace” – the mangy dog’s new trick.
10. What’s one song the lyrics of which really speak to you?
Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” (yes, I’m a sappy romantic at heart)
11. Form or function? Product or process? Fashion or comfort?
I want it all!
There! All questions answered…
which leaves me with the toughest duty of all in finishing out my obligations for accepting this award (yes, I’m cheating and combining the two into one because…not only do I have to come up with my own set of 11 questions, I have to decide upon 11 wonderful bloggers to nominate for the award. How is that even possible among the awesome group of people I eavesdrop upon every day? (For starters, I guess I need to figure out who doesn’t have thousands of followers…)
So here’s my (not all-inclusive, by any means) list of some “up-n-comers” whose blogs I’ve recently been
lurking around in enjoying /or/ some “has-beens” (as in, “they has been ’round this here bloggin’ community lots longer than I has been & I dunno’ how many gazillions or so followers they now has”):
- Northwest Photographer
- The Serenity Space
- Teacher as Transformer
- The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
- Magnumlady’s Blog
- Wabi Sabi Poet
- The Kir Corner
- Middle of My Story
- My Thoughts on the Subject are as Follows
- Simply Marcelino
- Apoplectic Apostrophes
And here’s my bonus “lister”, where I know for a fact I’m “out & out” cheating – but I cherish the transparency & thoughts of this blogger so much, I’m going to list her anyway. Stop in & say hi to
Traveling Marla for me (& tell her I sent you!)! Send her well wishes too, as she’s about to move from the U.S. to South Africa, so I know she’ll have some exciting new shares coming up!
Okay…here are my own “Set of 11” for you, my dearies…(If you’ve read this far, feel free to answer & send a trackback because if your blog wasn’t named on that list above, well by golly, it should’ve been!)
- In less than 15 words (which means no more than 14, btw), why do you blog?
- What’s your No. 1 pick of your own set of posts that you’d MOST want to share with the entire world (which means more than just your Great Aunt Sally)? (Throw us a link in please.)
- Are you more often a “Liker” or a “Commenter” on blog sites? Why do you think that is?
- You’ve been granted the opportunity to meet anyone who has ever existed. Who would that be TODAY (because I understand that you might be in a different mood tomorrow) and why?
- What’s your favorite time of day and why?
- What do you believe the most interesting/unique thing is about yourself? (You’re allowed to cheat by asking someone, if you don’t know!)
- How do gargoyles on buildings strike you? (Please don’t say by falling on your head – I’m actually after your feelings on this one!) 😉
- If you were out of staples with no promise of future access to refill, would you use your stapler for anything? (Please expound beyond yes or no.)
- If you could be the very best at something, but everyone would despise you; or mediocre at something and everyone love you – which would you choose? (Again, a little explanation is always a gracious addition.)
- What burning desire have you yet to accomplish?
- How do you intend to fulfill your dream in #10?
Wishing you well in all your endeavors, and surely hoping to hear some of your thoughtful responses.