Tag Archives: Travel

The Sunshine Award!

selosunshineawardMelissa Janda – The Buzz on Writing was so kind to nominate me for The Sunshine Award WAY back in April LAST YEAR! I’d like to thank her for the nomination and apologize for the delay in posting this. It always amazes me that people are interested in what I write and that it helps and inspires them. I’m very thankful that you all keep reading my posts.

So what exactly is The Sunshine Award you may ask. The Sunshine Award is “recognition from fellow bloggers to those who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” I feel so honored. Thank you Melissa!

The Rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Link to the person who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they have been nominated

10 Things about Me:

List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 2)

  1. My favorite TV shows are: The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Survivor, Covert Affairs, Duck Dynasty, and of course the old reruns of Friends and Will & Grace.
  2. I wear flip flops or sandals for about 9 months out of the year. I cave to real shoes once the snow flies. I know they are bad for your feet but I wear Reef sandals & flip-flops because they have arches.
  3. I love the flowers painted on my big toes when I get a pedicure. Why would I want to cover them up in regular shoes?
  4. My favorite plays are: Mamma Mia!, Rent, Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, and Annie. Of course there are more but I can’t list them all. If asked to go to a play, chances are the answer will be yes no matter what play it is.
  5. I love laying in a hammock listening to the wind in the trees and reading a book. I do this even in the late fall. I bring a polar fleece blanket out and wrap up in it. I’ve been known to fall asleep while doing this. I look forward to doing this in my new backyard this year.
  6. My favorite authors to read are Vince Flynn, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, and Tami Hoag.
  7. The book I could read over and over again is Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
  8. Pawn StarsI don’t have cable TV anymore…I miss Duck Dynasty, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, House Hunters, House Hunters International…sigh…and so many more but it’s been worth it in the long run.
  9. I hate watching the news because it’s so depressing.
  10. One of my favorite foods is homemade naked tacos. I make cilantro lime rice for the bottom of the bowl and layer it with taco meat, cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, salsa, and sour cream of course. For some crunch I sometimes add Southwest flavored tortilla strips that you can find in the salad section.

10 Deserving bloggers, in no particular order, nominated for The Sunshine Award:

  1. undeaddad
  2. You and Me, Dupree
  3. Anthony G. Wedgeworth
  4. ourlivesintheforest
  5. Confessions of a Nomad
  6. Street of Dreams
  7. jessicaschaubbooks
  8. toemail
  9. We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
  10. Nourishing Nonsense

This is quite a menagerie of blogs. Some of them I’ve learned a lot from, some have made me laugh, some make we want to go on vacation, and some make me want to cook and eat healthier. I’ve discovered I follow a wide variety of blogs and I love it. Congrats everyone and keep blogging!


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The Versatile Blogger Award!

Versatile Blogger AwardTo my utter amazement, I’ve been nominated by Andy for The Versatile Blogger Award! I have not been blogging long so it always amazes me that people are reading my blog. Thank you so much for the nomination Andy. I provided a link to his blog so please be sure to check it out.

Of course, there are a few stipulations in accepting this award…which I am only too pleased to uphold.

Here are the rules:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
  • Announce your win with a post. Please be sure you post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
  • Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers.
  • Leave them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to a post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Now for seven interesting things about myself:

  1. I am an avid hockey fan. I used to have season tickets for the Minnesota Wild.
  2. I have an irrational fear of bugs that makes my family laugh as I run around screaming and flailing my arms when one flies or lands near me. Heaven forbid if one should land on me!
  3. I enjoy quilting. I have about half of a hockey quilt pieced together. I’m definitely not an expert quilter!
  4. I would move to Maui, Hawaii in a heartbeat and live right on the ocean.
  5. I have an 80 pound British Lab that thinks he’s a person and a lap dog! Yes, I do talk to him all the time as he follows me around the house.
  6. I custom designed the cover of my laptop so nobody has one identical to me and I love it!
  7. I absolutely love to travel. I’ve been to California, Colorado, North & South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Poland. Some of my favorite cities are: San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; Maui, Hawaii; and Berlin, Germany.

The bloggers in this list have been a great source of humor, inspiration, and knowledge that they deserve The Versatile Blogger Award.

The fifteen bloggers, in no particular order, deserving my nomination are:

  1. Sarah Solmonson’s Blog
  2. chrismcmullen
  3. Melissa Janda – The Buzz on Writing
  4. disregard the prologue
  5. sshalsnoy’s blog
  6. Falls Into Writing
  7. lindaghill – Life in Progress
  8. Author Allen Watson
  9. Jay Em Edgecliff
  10. brainsnorts: Trashing Today for a Better Tomorrow
  11. Snotting Black
  12. readful things blog – An Opinion on Everything Literary
  13. Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors
  14. Literary.land.of.Alysia
  15. WordServer Water Cooler


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Researching a Story

I spent an amazing evening tonight at Wayzata Central Middle School listening to Jodi Picoult read from her new book “The Storyteller”. I must say she speaks eloquently and is a very engaging speaker. She finished her reading tonight by opening it up for questions. I listened to her explain how she does her research for her books and was very intrigued by the time she puts into developing an accurate storyline and characters. The subject of this book is dear to me because I studied the aftermath of WWII and the holocaust which ended in a two-week trip to Germany and Poland. Those two weeks were the best and the worst all at the same time. I saw sites like Auschwitz-Birkenau, Jewish Old Town, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the inside of a Stasi prison (I could go on and on) that left such a memorable impression that it instantly brings tears to my eyes and I can still smell and feel these places three years later. As I listened to Jodi Picoult speak I wondered if she was able to capture what it is to actually be there and experience something so horrific within this book. She did many interviews with holocaust survivors and the accounts she spoke of tonight fall in line with what I know from studying and experiencing such a place. As I left with my friends I confided that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to read this book all the way through in time to discuss it with the book club we are launching with this book. A book club that is filled to the brim with the people I studied and traveled with to Germany and Poland. The few in this book club that did not go with us on this trip know it just as much as those that went because of all the stories and memories and information we have passed on to them. I’m anxious and frightened to start reading. I want to see if she nailed what it would have been like to be there, to smell it, to live it and yet I don’t want my own nightmares to return. It took me a long time after I returned home to sleep peacefully again. The beautiful redwood forests in Poland contained such horror that it’s difficult to stand in among the trees and see their beauty and yet we tried. I have pictures to prove it. I have amazingly beautiful pictures of everywhere we stopped along the way but that beauty is really tainted when you know first hand what happened in these places when our Stasi prison guides’ father was in the Stasi prison and our guide through Auschwitz survived Auschwitz as a child. This will definitely be an interesting read and an even more interesting discussion afterward.

Imported Photos 00918

This is a picture I took in Jewish Old Town in Krakow Poland.


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