Archive for June 2013

The Liebster Blog Award: sharing the love

June 7, 2013

I was thrilled the other day when my dear friend and fellow writer Michelle over at Maple Leaf Mamma nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award. It seems the Liebster has unknown origins, but is a pay-it-forward sort of a thing. A modern take on the chain letter, perhaps? Suffice to say, a bit of fun in the world of blogging.

If you accept the award you’re supposed to acknowledge the person who nominated you – grazie, Michelle! – answer some questions about yourself, and nominate other blogs.

1) Why did you start blogging?

About eight years ago an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while, who remembered how I used to write these long stories in elementary school, told me any writer he knows has a blog. At the time I didn’t know what blogging was but I thought of it years later when I was living in Sudbury, Ontario and my husband got the job offer to be transferred to Thompson, Manitoba. It was a very difficult decision to say Yes to the move, and I started searching the ‘net for help and support, as a wife and mother about to relocate to a remote location away from friends and family. I couldn’t find anything online. Every “relocation” search came up with pages and pages of moving companies. So I decided to start my blog in the hope that I could reach out to others as scared as me in a similar situation.

It worked. I’ve met people through my blog (online and one wonderful friend, in person, here in NL). I still have never properly thanked the universe and the sixty or so people who left messages for me when I was Freshly Pressed after this post, at a time when I was feeling particularly lost. I apologize for not thanking each one of those who left me comments (I remember sitting in front of my computer with a box of tissues, bawling my eyes out as I read the kind words of strangers, it meant so much to me), but I did read all of your blogs. 

2) If you could eat lunch anywhere in the world, where and what would you eat?

Ooohhh, so many places, but I think it would have to be somewhere in Italy. I’ve travelled in Italy and hope to do so again someday, and when I think of eating there, I think, comfort food. I do enjoy a fancy meal now and then, but I’m more simple at heart. I love how Michelle describes Italian food as basically peasant food. Right up my alley.

3) Whom, what, where does your blogging inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from how I experience the world. My emotions.

4) How do you handle a stressful day?

Prior to a few weeks ago I would have said, a glass of wine around 4 pm. But I was starting to realize that could turn into a problem (if it wasn’t already. And very expensive). Exercise, for sure, and music. I’ll put on some danceable music and move. I’ve also started to pay more attention to the things I repeat to myself, and try to dig around for positive thoughts to replace the negative ones that can spiral out of control if I’m not careful. And when I get the chance, talking things out with another adult helps immensely.

5) What do you hope your children remember about you?

My love, my creativity, my energy, and my joy. Preferably more of the love, less of the wild-eyed yelling.

6) What is your favorite recipe?

Grandma food! The recipes my Grandma left for me in a little book she started for me when I was first out on my own….. Actually, I haven’t made any of those in a while, the chicken and rice casseroles, the sugar plums. In our house we make a lot of homemade soup, and my fav is from Canadian Living, one my husband and I have made for a few years now, ginger, ground pork and noodle soup, yum.

7. What is your favorite quote?

Many, but this one in particular for how it sums up most things. It’s a little exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

8. What projects are you working on right now?

Short stories. Child-rearing. Marriage. Kitchen reno. And being a more patient, mature but still fun-loving, dependable adult. Which is needed for the next pursuit, my job search.

9. What is the best thing about you?

I still have a birthday card my co-workers in the communications department of Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan gave me the year I worked there. It says: “Jane’s co-workers wondered if she’d been smelling too many birthday candles,” and around the cartoon image of a woman, arms in the air are captions like, Life is Wonderful! I feel Great! I think the best thing about me is my enthusiasm. At worst, people who meet me think I’m crazy to be so high on life. At best, I tend to inspire others.

10. Will you follow the bloggers that you nominate?


11. What makes you giggle?

The sound of sudden falling, as long as the one falling (usually me or one of my sons) isn’t hurt, that delicious tumble thump sound that is giggle music to my ears, and the inevitable, delayed bruises on knees or shins or shoulders, truly some of Nature’s most colourful and surprising works of art.

(11) facts about myself…

Despite the landing and the technological advances and the sci-fi inevitability of our future, I still romanticize the moon.

I would take a muddy pond to swim in over a chlorinated pool any hot, hot day in July.

I never thought I’d want to live above the 53rd parallel but I have now, more than once, and I yearn to go back.

My children devour broccoli and spinach among other veggies, fruit, meat, dairy and whole grains, and have a robust enjoyment of cookies. I take full credit for their healthy habits.

In our first year together my then boyfriend/now husband and I travelled across the country several times on our way to and from tree planting contracts. I love it that we met in the bush.

I am fiercely proud of my parents and worry I won’t accomplish half what they have in their lives to date, but finally realize I am different from them in ways that will mean I’ll do my own good things in my own (slower) time.

I have never lost anyone (by death) close to me except for my Grandma, who was ninety when she passed away three years ago. However, I have lost friends to time and distance which has left me feeling equally as heartbroken and lost without them.

I will turn 40 next year and I haven’t been this excited about a birthday since….last year! I feel stronger now than I did in my 20s (when I thought I was invincible), and I look forward to the inevitable wisdom that comes with age.

I was never very good at organized team sports, goals in the wrong net, yup, that sort of thing, and I wasn’t particularly good at it but I appreciate all of the dance training my mom put me in over the years, jazz and ballet, which I have continued in pursuit of other feel-good forms of movement, from belly dancing to ballroom.

My childhood memories are wild. As in, roaming through forests and streams, the tall grass of the hydro field, skinned knees and hanging out with a gang of kids ‘till the streetlights came on kind of wild.

My husband and I will celebrate our ten year anniversary this year, sixteen years together, and I feel I’ve crossed a threshold into a whole new and strange kind of beautiful, where love is about so much more than that bubbly delicious feeling I get when he walks in the front door, invents silly rhymes for the kids, or touches me in a way only he can.

Blogs I love and nominate for a Liebster award:

Weathered Pages

The Thiessen Six

(more to come)