You Picked a Winner!

This picture was included in a previous post, and received rave reviews from you, the viewing public. 

Last month, our local Wild Birds Unlimited stores held their 3rd annual photo contest. I have never entered photos in a contest, but since you liked this one so much, I cropped it and printed it and took it to the store. 

I received a phone call, and then this in their latest email:

The Votes Have Been Counted And The Results Are In!

And The Winners of Our 3rd Annual Photo Contest Are:

In Virginia Beach:

  • Best Wild Bird – Isabelle Luthere
  • Best Wild Critter – Pam Monahan
  • Best Pet – Janice Young

In Chesapeake:

  • Best Wild Bird – Herbert Thomas
  • Best Wild Critter – Patti Jarrett
  • Best Pet – Stuart McCausland

Thanks to everyone who entered. There were many great pictures. And congratulations to the winners. They will each win a $25 gift card to our stores.

Guess I should take my winnings and go buy some more peanuts! Thank you, for your encouraging and affirming words, and giving me the confidence to “go for it!”  

Blog Awards

This post ends my first year of blogging. Many of you have subscribed to my blog, and that makes my day! Several of you have blessed me with blog awards, my cup runneth over. Thank you so much for showing your support in these ways. I am honored to be the recipient of so many.

When I started blogging, I saw awards on other’s blogs and wondered about them. I saw notes on a few that were designated award-free, and wondered why they wouldn’t want to participate. 

Most of the awards require linking back to the person who bestowed the award, then passing it on to several other blogs. Many of them say fifteen. I’m finding it difficult to keep up with my blog, the many I follow, and also create award posts and all the links that go with them. After much thought and soul-searching, I’ve decided to make my blog award-free. 

Sharing awards is a wonderful way to introduce new blogs we’ve found, and spread the blogging love. In the future, I will provide a link in a post to new blogs I think may interest you. 

I would like to thank the following for recent awards. If you don’t know them, please pay them a visit. Each person has their own story to tell, from their part of the world. This is an exciting journey! 

Dianna at
.C. at
arlene at
Connie at
Kitty at
Arindam at

Arindam’s link will take you to the best blog award show I’ve seen. Quite possibly, the only one I’ve seen. His personality shines through. 🙂

Thanks to for the use of her award-free button. I was smitten with that bird! 

Kreativ Blog Award

A couple weeks ago, during a crazed writing period where I was typing with one hand and holding a tissue in the other, Dianna at These Days of Mine blessed me with the Kreativ blog award. Thanks, Dianna. Her blog is always a breath of fresh air, filled with sunrises and sunsets, and her adorable kitty, Sundae.

To accept the award, one is to share a little about oneself that might draw the interest of others (and encourage them to check out your blog) and then pass it on. It’s a great opportunity for community building; and to find others who are just as sane (or not) as you, is an added bonus. 

I’ll try to NOT put you to sleep, so here goes:

  1. I’m a barefoot country girl, born and raised in W.Va., transplanted to the “big city” of Virginia Beach, where my OLDest brother informed me I must now bathe on Wednesday, as well as Saturday.
  2. I’m the “baby” of the family, the only girl, and probably quite a surprise, arriving when my parents were in their 40s and probably thought they were done raising children.
  3.  All three of my OLDer brothers have served in the military, and I am very proud of them.
  4. All four of us are married to our first-and-only spouse, as were our parents. 
  5. I love the Lord, my God, with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength.

The following bloggers are the next recipients of the Kreativ award. I’d like to introduce you to them, in case you haven’t met them yet.

Patti, (another one with an “i”) run4joy59 hails from the midwest U.S., and writes about the “Long and Winding Road to Fitness.”  She’s striving, like most of us, to eat more healthfully and exercise, but while working some incredible hours in retail. She’s making a good go of it and inspires me to do better. She has a couple of cats who share her life.

Nancy, mylifeinphotos has been writing since she could hold a pencil, and is pursuing a 365 challenge to take photos every day. You may be familiar with her “A Word A Day” feature that I’ve been participating in.

Mushy Cloud (I think her name is Pam–please correct me if mistaken ID), writes to us from the UK (?) or somewhere from the other side of the pond. (I did receive a geography lesson not too long ago, but alas, it didn’t stick.) She has many interests including music, photography, cycling, oil painting and sketching to name a few. 

Lenore Diane’s sense of humor caught me immediately. She’s from Georgia, here in the U.S., and can be found at LenoreDiane’sThoughtsExactly

Maxi Malone at Maxiscomments is a writer, and always has something fun to post. She’s living life in sunny Florida. I want to be her when I grow up. 😉


NaNoWriMo 2011

Monday was a day of celebrations:

  • 36th wedding anniversary
  • Verified NaNoWriMo winner!

The November roller coaster ride that crept ever so slowly toward the highest point, chugged along at a tortoise’s pace, finally reached the apex. The last two hundred words were written, verified on the website, and a winner declared. Join me, as we stretch our arms high overhead and scream at the top of our lungs (I hope you remembered to fasten your seatbelt)!

My journey began when the seed was planted by the leader of my writers group at our September meeting. I had heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but didn’t know much about it. Evelyn‘s words were encouraging, we had nothing to lose in trying to write 50,000 words during the month of November. 

I considered it briefly, then quickly forgot about it as we prepared for an October vacation. Upon returning home, I got a email from Evelyn updating what I had missed at writers group that week. She included information on NaNoWriMo, which lightly watered the previously planted seed, and added the warmth of her encouraging words. A doubt came to mind, what would I write about? To sign up required a working title. 

Out to the garden I went, trying to make up for a month of neglect. Bending low over the yarrow to cut away the deadness, the increased circulation to my brain brought with it the words, “The Gardener’s Guide to Devotion.” I stood up. I had a working title! 

The first few days of November, I wrote with abandon, occasionally visiting the NaNoWriMo website to learn more. That’s when I realized I was writing nonfiction, not a novel; but found there was a rebel category for people like me. 

To reach the 50,000 word goal in thirty days, 1,667 words per day are required. Knowing that Thanksgiving, a granddaughter’s birthday, and our anniversary fall in November, I increased my daily goal to 2,000 words per day, giving me five days “off.” 

Early on, the words came easily. There are many life stories I want to share with my grandchildren, and this was the perfect opportunity to spill them upon the page. When it seemed the well was running dry, I found that taking time to get outside and experience nature refilled it. 

The third week of November, hubby took a long weekend to do some work at his parent’s home. I came down with a cold, and seized the opportunity to write as much as I possibly could on that four-day weekend. That was the boost I needed. I was so close to the goal, I had no guilt in staying an extra day after Thanksgiving with the family. This past Saturday was spent doing some much-needed housecleaning, Sunday was a true day of rest. 

Today, I’m sitting on top of the world. Join me to celebrate. And bring cake! 🙂


One Lovely Blog Award

Dianna, who can be found at, recently bestowed upon my blog a “Lovely Blog Award.” Thanks, Dianna. 

As blog awards go, in turn, I’m to award it to fifteen other bloggers, and tell seven things about myself that you may not know. There are so many wonderful blogs, most of the ones I follow regularly are listed on my blogroll at the bottom of the page. I know many of us stalk visit the same blogs, so I’d like to invite you to look over my blogroll, and stop by to meet some of the bloggers who may be new to you. All are deserving of an award, but participating in NaNoWriMo this month leaves me short on blogging time. Thank you for understanding. 

Seven things about myself:

1. Several years ago, I nearly lost the vision in my right eye from toxoplasmosis; but for the grace of God. 

2. A young opossum has been visiting our backyard recently, under cover of darkness–therefore I haven’t been able to share its picture with you. 

3. My dad raised chickens, and they ended up on the dinner table. I will not go into the details of him wielding the hatchet.

4. I found what I thought was a snake when gathering eggs once. I couldn’t see into the nest box, but what I felt turned out to be the tail of an opossum. My brother was sent to “take care of it,” and we kept it as a pet until it tried to bite me. 

5. My dad also raised rabbits. And hunted squirrels. And all those things ended up in jars in the basement cellar. It reminded me of a mad scientist’s lab. To my knowledge, I never ate any of it. 

6. I did eat Coco Wheats for breakfast every morning before school for twelve years. I wonder if that was a record. 

7. My first crush was on the milkman when I was about five years old. 

Well, there you have it! I hope I haven’t ruined your breakfast/lunch/dinner/midnight snack.

NaNoWriMo updated word total: 4,312 



Socks GONE!

This week, I’ve been blessed with the Versatile Blogger Award, TWICE. 

Thanks to Georgette, and Drusilla.

I received this award early on in my blogging “career,” but at the time hadn’t figured out how to add it to my blog page. Now that it has been brought to my attention again, I remedied that situation. See? New tricks CAN be taught to old bloggers. 

I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself, and pass on the award. 

Today I will tell you the seven things, and after some research, I’ll announce some new Versatile Bloggers next week. 

1. I don’t have time to do the research in time for this post, as it is 2:30 in the morning, and tomorrow I’ll be packing to spoil grandchildren visit family. 

2. I had a lunch date with my hubby THREE times this week! 

3. Of my 150 minutes of recommended cardio this week, I have accomplished FIVE. Not good. I’d better chase those grandchildren A LOT. Or maybe I should just WALK to their house. Let’s see, 160 miles…I don’t think I’ll be home in time to blog next week.

4. Did you know that some caterpillars go through winter in their chrysalis and emerge in the spring?

5. I enjoy the writing of Ruth Bell Graham. Currently, I am reading a book of devotions by her, “Letters from Ruth’s Attic.” “Footprints of a Pilgrim” is another favorite.

6. I’ve kept a journal for years, but now that I blog, not much gets written in the journal.

7. I need to go buy new socks–and YOU need to have a great weekend! Hope to see you Monday. 🙂