The Ten Commandments of Blogging

I just found this wonderful blog by Wayfarer, that it appears, everyone else already knows about! I really love this post! And, I hope to follow these “commandments” as I think they make for a better blogger

A Holistic Journey

1. Thou shalt not waste readers’ time. Offer up thy readers a worthy sacrifice that they might take and be satisfied.

2. Thou shalt honor thy muse. Be prepared in season, out of season to seize inspiration when she comes that ye might write, dance, photograph, paint thy bliss. Be not caught without thy scroll, ink, pen, iGadget, camera. Thou wilt not redeem the moment the locust has eaten.

3. Thou shalt preview thy draft and spell-check before publishing that the Angel of Vengeance shall not fly over thy blog in the night.10commandmts2

4. Always speak ye the truth.

5. Thou shalt not take up the like button in vain, foremost on this blog. It is holystic ground. Thou shalt in integrity read the posts before clicking anything lest thou incite my wrath. Know ye that I see thou couldst not have read four of my brain-intensive posts in one…

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An Award I Have Never Heard of Before!

black cat award

The beautiful and positive Roda sent me a message the other day. She said “I have nominated you for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award!” I thought, is she pulling my leg? It sounded kind of like a joke-but it’s not. What I found out is that the intent behind this award is to recognize those bloggers who attempt to write for everybody, regardless of the number of viewers they acquire. It is designed to acknowledge writing from one’s passions and not really targeting a blog that necessarily has a large following or a tremendous amount of “likes”. The official statement is:

What Is This Award

This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.

As Roda put it “This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee and it should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it.”

How kind is that! We all enjoy followers and “likes” of course, but I think we sometimes get caught up in that loop and forget that we started this for ourselves and our passions. I love the ideal behind this award and am honored that Roda thought of me!

Rules

  • anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers
  • the nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator
  • the questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions

Roda’s Questions to me:

  • What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?

This is tough for me to address because I follow a number of really diverse blogs. Cooking, rock climbing, running, story writing, photography-all are approached differently and I enjoy that diversity in my Reader feed. As long as everyone stays positive and supportive of one another I am happy. I have yet to find a blog that is negative or demeaning in any way (thankfully!). If I did run into that I would not follow, comment or like any part of it!

  • Tell us 4 things about yourself, one of which is not true… and see if we can guess.
  1. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology
  2. I have a twin sister
  3. I have run 3 half marathons, to date  and
  4. I went to culinary school
  • Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

I rise early and get in a good run then come home and have a scone (or two!) that I made earlier. I head out with my family for a day of rock climbing (of course I never fall because it is my “perfect day”!) We go out for a tasty dinner and a cocktail or two, then I spend the rest of the evening with my husband-not filling in any more details from here on!!

My Questions to you

  1. Where do you look for inspirations for your blog posts?
  2. How has your blog changed / evolved over time? Was the change in line with your expectations?
  3. What would you like to be doing in the future? Are you still blogging?

 

I do realize that not everyone participates in awards and my only intent is to honor and recognize those blogs that I truly enjoy! Please do not feel any pressure to engage with this post and know that I appreciate all that you do!

 

My Nominees:

Ink Owl

In Diane’s Kitchen

This is My Truth Now

Running Forward, My way

Normalisoverated2016

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Sunshine Blogger Awards #1 & #2

sunshine

Hello Everyone! I have been missing for awhile and I am so behind on my postings!! We have been really busy with our new home purchase in Tucson. It turns out that it takes a lot of time to set up a transaction like this when you are not in the same state as the new house. We have finally finished inspections and negotiations and are feeling better about our position with all this. It will close in August, then we really have to move into gear! Meanwhile, this amazing blogging community has been generous with me once again! The incredible Valerie from “Living Lighter in Atlanta” nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award, back in April! Then in June, the Avid Observer from “What Living taught me” also nominated me. I truly appreciate both of these blogs as they have entertained and enlightened my world!

The Rules for accepting this Award:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2.) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

 

Valerie’s Questions to me:

What are three activities that bring you happiness?

-running, rock climbing and cooking!

When you are feeling down, what kinds of things do you do to try and lift your spirits?

-run, rock climb and cook!
What are some of your favorite funny movies (comedies)?

-Blazing Saddles, Caddy shack, Spaceballs and the Vacation movies
Who is your favorite comedian, and what do you like about him/her?

-Anyone on SNL past or present
Does money buy happiness?

-NO, but it does make unhappiness easier to live with!
Were your parents happy when you were growing up? Why do you think they were/were not?

-They thought they were. I believe they were not because they married too young to know what they really wanted. They divorced when I was 23.
What makes you laugh out loud?

-I am a strong believer in the statement “it’s funny because it’s true”. Check out this link: I laughed until I cried!
Does the weather affect your mood?

-Yes! That is why we are snow birding now!
What in your life are you currently looking forward to?

-Setting up our new home in Tucson!

What living taught me Q’s for me:

 A quote or any saying that you love and follow.

ego

  • If you get chance : either to go in future and know what’s there for you or to go back in past and change something Which one would you choose & Why?

-I would go back into the past and (attempt) to prevent a decision, made by someone else, that caused me great emotional pain.

  • A superpower that you think everyone should have.

-The ability to see one week into the future, so that people can better choose their words and actions today.

  • Mountains or Beaches?

-both! I can’t choose!

  • Is there anything that can/might make you stop blogging?

-If this community became negative or unsupportive. That seems very unlikely as everyone I have met has been amazing!

  • If you get a chance to watch any war that happened in the past live Which war would you choose n Why?

-The civil war because I know which side I would be fighting for!

  • Share any adventurous or risky thing that you ever did.

-I did skydiving a few times, three to be exact.  I would love to do it again!

  • What gives you goosebumps every-time?

-fingernails on a chalkboard. It is happening now as I type this!

  • A gift that you would love to receive anytime.

-flowers

  • Your favorite topics to have a conversation on.

-My kids!

  • One thing that you want to eliminate from your life completely.

-weeding!

 

I would like to nominate:

Free to Express

Everyone else has the best titles

Maggie

Atoms of thought

Roda

kool kosher kitchen

In Diane’s Kitchen

The Ink Owl

Wish to Dish

Sensible nonsense

LEE Bakers

My Questions to the nominees:

What is your favorite day of the week?

What was your favorite childhood toy?

Are you a cat or a dog person?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing that now?

At dessert time, do you go for chocolate or lemon?

What is your favorite topic to blog about?

Why did you start your blog?

What book are you currently reading?

What past TV show would you like to see back on the air?

If you could go back into your past, what (if anything) would you like to change?

What would you have for your final meal?

Blogger Recognition Award, #2!

blogger-award

 

I am still working my way through some awards and nominations that I have been blessed to receive. The amazing Kathy Knull was kind enough to think of me when she was writing her acceptance post. Kathy is a novelist, accomplished equestrian and has a wide variety of hobbies and skills I could never master in two lifetimes! I really enjoy reading her posts and can relate as we are in a similar stage of life. Check her out!

Here are the rules for accepting this award

 

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10-15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

 

The first time I was nominated for this award, I was only 2 months into blogging. I don’t think that initial post was widely seen so I am reblogging portions today.

 

How my blog started:

I started my blog as a way to take back some control in my life. After my kids went to college (and yes, if you haven’t experienced it yet, the “empty nest syndrome” is real!) I found myself floundering. I was disillusioned with my career, my purpose had grown up and my husband, well, he was dealing with his own mid life crisis (also a very real thing!). I needed to reconnect with my life, the world and myself. Once I realized that I had basically disappeared I wanted to get back some of the fire that I once had. After all, I had managed to get both a bachelors and a doctorate degree, raise two amazing young people and teach some pretty hard subjects at the college level for 20+ years, but where did that woman go? Starting this blog was one of several steps I have taken to connect to others in my situation. In the process, I have met far more people, of varying backgrounds and ages and am thrilled to be able to hear their stories and share ideas with them. I had no idea how much these connections would mean to me and I am only 7 months into this journey! Thank you for your support and comments, I hope to meet more great people in this blogosphere!

Advice to new bloggers:

I feel a bit disingenuous offering advice, as most of you are probably more seasoned bloggers than myself! But here goes! A piece of advice I received was, “don’t compare your start with someone else’s middle”. I think this is a wonderful sentiment and can be applied to anything you are starting. Be it exercise, a diet or a new job. Someone will always have more experience, talent or, in this world, followers! We all have to start at the beginning of everything! If you are passionate about it then learn from those folks and embrace your beginning. You don’t get to have 5 years of experience on the first day of anything!

The second piece of advice is more from an observation. The blogs I see that are doing well and, have a genuine feel of authenticity, seem to be those written by people who are not looking to make a fortune. Money may come down the line but you will never have more of an opportunity to connect on a personal level than you do right now. If you get rich later, that’s great but if it’s your passion then enjoy it now!

I nominate the following bloggers for this award:

 

Please tag me back if you choose to write a post!

 

Mystery Blogger Awards 2 and 3!

The creater of the Mystery Blogger Award is Enigma, here is her page.

mystery-blogger-award

I am such a slacker! I was nominated for this award, some time ago, by two amazing bloggers, and I am just now getting to these. I do sincerely appreciate the time that both BeaFrietas and Inkowl have put into this posting! Beafrietas hosts a magnificent lifestyle blog that most humans in the blogosphere have already followed! And, Inkowl shares inspirational stories and artwork that will make your day a happier place! Check them both out if you haven’t already!

 

AWARD RULES

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. List the Rules.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  6. Answer five questions from the nominee.
  7. Nominate anywhere from ten to twenty bloggers.
  8. Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  10. Share the link to your best post.

Three things about me:

  1. I have a BS in general biology and  a Ph.D. in molecular biology, so I love science especially all things DNA
  2. I ran my first half marathon and began rock climbing last year at the age of 49, and have plans to keep going farther, faster and higher!
  3. I am still on my quest of “what’s next in life” and would love to define that path soon!

 

Bea’s Questions:

  1. What is the last song you sang along to? 

I listen to 80’s rock when I run and my last run was yesterday, so that was “Looks that Kill” by Motley Crue- ya, I know!

2. Without worrying about money or responsibilities, if you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go? 

I would leave tomorrow for Greece!

3. Would you rather be a singer, actress, or professional athlete?

Definitely a professional athlete

4. What games do you enjoy playing?

We are leaving for Vegas tomorrow and I really like to play Black Jack!

5. What product can you not live without?

I am not sure if this is the spirit of the question but coffee!

 

Ink Owl’s Questions:

  1. Where (physical locations) do you write?

I actually write in a number of different locations. Often in my living room or at the island in my kitchen. I sometimes will write out on our patio when I am looking for a creative vibe and will head to the local book store when I have a more complicated post in mind.

2. Why did you start writing?

I needed an outlet for some strong emotions that I was dealing with, and to be honest, am still working through.

3. What is your favorite part about your life?

The freedom to choose how to spend my time. My kids are grown, I work part time and I really have the freedom to structure my day around the activities I want to participate in.  If I feel like going for a run, heading out to climb for the day or spend time in the kitchen, I have that privilege. After all the years (decades) of operating on everyone else’s  schedules, I really appreciate the time to focus on what I like to do!

4. What has been the most challenging part with writing?

Effective communication and editing! There always seems to be the potential for confusion and a typo no matter how many times I proof read!

5. What gives you inspiration to write?

My blog is relatively new (started in November 2016) so I have a lot of topics and ideas at this point. It is really a matter of choosing which topics to tackle first. I really don’t know how long I will be doing this, but for now I am really enjoying connecting with some many interesting people.

My best post:

According to the stats for the site my best post was Are you really together if you are not side-by-side: A running query

My nominees!

 

My Questions to you:

  1. Do you prefer action movies or comedies?
  2. What was the last novel you read? Why did you choose it?
  3. Do you prefer warm or cold vacation destinations?
  4. Are you a cat or dog person?
  5. What foreign language would you like to speak fluently?

Are you really together if you are not side-by-side?: A running query

My husband and I have been half marathon training together for over a year now, but this was not a natural progression for us. When I signed up for my first half, back in February 2016, I assumed I would be on my own because we had always believed that we would be incompatible as running partners. After all, he is a natural runner whose pace is a full 2-minutes+ per mile faster than mine and I am not genetically engineered for running and have to work hard just to improve by the smallest of women-running-1increments.

 

I have always wished I could be one of those women who can run effortlessly with a friend and maintain a casual conversation all the while running a 7 minute mile. The reality is that I can barely breath, let alone carry on a conversation, and spend most of the time wiping my nose on my sleeve.

 

Additionbeerally, we have entirely different running goals. He wants to compete with his coworkers and break their running records, it does not faze him that these people are twenty years his junior! He is constantly trying to improve on his time (which is already pretty fast!) and, most importantly, get to the beer garden before all the cold drinks are gone.

 

By contrast, I just want to survive and it would be a nice bonus to be able to walk the next day. He is the hare that looks smooth and effortless while runninghare

and I am the sweaty, hobbled tortoise that is covered in bugs that have been ensnared during my 2 hour, self inflicted torment. So, when we tell people that we are running together they naturally ask how that is even possible.

 

We have all seen those wonderful couples that have found that perfect compromise between achieving their personal goals and encouraging one another without conflict. Vanessa and Nick are one of those great partnerships. Vanessa is a writer living in Denver, Colorado and hosts The Real Life, a wonderful lifestyle blog that catalogs her love of running with her boyfriend and running coach, Nick.

nick and vanessa

I have been following The Real Life for some time now and have marveled at their ability to balance their different running styles and goals. I asked Vanessa how they pulled off this seemingly impossible feat given that Nick might have a 20-mile training run while she may be doing a 9 that same day. They have found that by splitting up the mileage, or changing their pace to accommodate one another, has enabled them to coordinate their training so that they can run side-by-side for a good portion of their training, and it is obviously working-just look how happy they are in this picture!

Actually, the running blogosphere is full of stories similar to Vanessa and Nick’s experience. Partnerships where running side-by-side are apparently effortless. But, what about the rest of us? Those couples who are confident that an argument or resentful feelings are waiting at the end of every finish line and believe that to run together you must be willing to dramatically alter your goals. Surely these people cannot run “together”. As I said already, we were also two of those skeptics. There was no way I could speed up to run next to him, as I would not last half a mile at his pace, and he does not posses the patience to slow down to accommodate my speed.

He would rather have his fingernails pulled off with pliers than go that slow!Hare-and-Tortoise-300x156

Surly, this would end our marriage for good if we tried to train together, right?

Spoiler alert: we did figure it out, but not because we actively tried, we sort of fell into it.

Initially, I joined a local group that had formed to specifically train for the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon.

redmond running group

The organizers had a 12-week schedule in place to get us ready by race day, so the distance ramped up pretty fast. Each week had a long run on the weekend with 2 or 3 shorter exercises during the week. My hope was to find a buddy with whom I could pace to pass the grueling time. My husband decided to join us for one of the long runs, almost as a second thought. He was still faster than all of us but decided to continue training with the group, periodically joining us when he could. As the weeks progressed we found that the two of us would spend more and more time together planning our workouts. As the runs increased in length we had to spend more time thinking about hydration, nutrition and gear. This was also a period of time where we were travelling quite a bit and were not able to train with the group.

We had to work together, just the two of us, to plan running routes in other states, in different weather conditions and remind one another to pack the training paraphernalia that we needed to be successful. After the run we would discuss what went well, what we needed to change for next time and how to plan our recovery. It turns out we had a lot in common!

green lake run

In short, we were spending a huge amount of time, together, planning our training. Never once did we run side by side, but we ran at the same time. We get to the trailhead, share a quick “good luck “ kiss and see one another at the end. We debrief and either reveled in the new PR or commiserated about the bad weather, this is Seattle after all. In fact, I rarely see his face when we run as he is always blazing past me as he turns into a fuzzy, distant spot on the trail.

 

A big reason why this works for us, and may not for others, is that we are both self -motivated in our training. I do know a number of people who tell me that this model would not work for them because they need that person, right by their side, to keep them moving through the tough times. I do understand that but what would you do if your training partner were sick or injured? Would you stop training as well?medals Pain and illness do happen and there have been many times my husband or myself would not be able to run. I do miss him when he is not out on the trail, somewhere, with me but I am also comfortable continuing to make progress toward my goals on my own. In this way, we are not too reliant on one another when we are unable to coordinate our schedules .

So, my answer to the query is yes, you are running and training together, even if you are not physically next to one another. We feel very connected by our training goals, as different as they are, and are definitely here to tell others that this can be done.

planning

The Blue Sky Tag

BeaFreitas has nominated me for the Blue Sky Tag! If you, somehow, don’t know about her blog then you need to click on over right now and check it out! She is a fashionista, quote guru and all around marvelous human being!

Rules for the award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Tag 11 people
  • Give nominees 11 questions to answer.
  • Acknowledge Waves of Awesomeness in your post who created the art.

 

Bea’s questions for me:

  1. If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

This one is easy, coffee, chocolate and cheese!

2. What is your favorite time of day?

First thing in the morning (with that cup of coffee from question #1!)

3. What are your pet peeves?

Oh so many! But the worst is people who lie.

4. Who is the kindest person you know?

My mother in law!

5. What is the worst thing you did as a kid?

My sister was 5 years younger than myself and always wanted to be around me, or play with me. I was not very patient with her, so not a nice big sister!

6. What do you enjoy to do?

Exercise: running, rock climbing and the occasional yoga class.

7. What is your favorite quote?

ooh, tough one! There are so many! This past year I have been thinking and reading a lot about character, morality and integrity and how the personal choices we make effect those we are supposed to care about. So, today my favorite quote is:

karma quote

8. If you could choose your own nickname, what would it be?

Your Highness!

9. What is your favorite childhood book?

This is really old but my favorite book when I was 5 years old was Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

10. If you could time travel, where would you go?

I would like to see into the future, maybe 100 years from now. I definitely would not go back in time to before the discovery of antibiotics! Too dangerous!

11. What is your favorite scent?

Vanilla!

My Questions to you:

  1. What is your favorite color, and why?
  2. What was you favorite childhood TV show?
  3. Who is your celebrity crush?
  4. If you had the opportunity to travel into space would you take it?
  5. What was the best pet you ever had, past or present?
  6. If you could go back in time, which of your past mistakes would you fix?
  7. You can only eat breakfast, lunch or dinner for the rest of your life-what do you pick?
  8. What is your dream job?
  9. What one world problem would you solve if you had that power?
  10. Would you rather go skiing or snorkeling ?
  11. When was the last time you laughed so hard that you peed a little bit?

 

Nominations