The Liebster Award for Blogs!

Did I Just Win a Blogging Award?!

Well, kinda, maybe, sorta.

Have you ever heard of the Liebster Award? I certainly had not. So, imagine my surprise to find I’ve been nominated for one!

(I wish I could tell you more about the blog/blogger who nominated me and give her the hearty PROPS she deserves. However, from her privacy standpoint – since she operates mostly in the world of the anonymous internet – connecting to me would be a little too much “worlds colliding.” So, I’ll just say that she deserves every bit of kudos the Liebster Award offered her, and she has my utmost thanks and appreciation for kindly passing it on to me.)

What is The Liebster Award?

Good question. I wondered the same thing.

Despite my still-sharp research skills, I was unable to uncover “official” information about this award. However, tons of word-of-mouth, pass-it-on information abounds.  Apparently, the Liebster Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. “Liebster” is a German word that can mean sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. (Phew! That’s a lot to encompass!) The award appears to be a movement toward helping smaller or start-up blogs get “discovered” and gain support and a greater internet presence.

As a blogger to blogger award, it feels a bit like a chain letter, but it seems well-intentioned and I’m happy to support other bloggers. As my nominator said about her own Liebster Award, it seems fairly innocuous, so I’ll go ahead and participate . . .

The Rules

One thing does seem fairly well-established; the “rules” for the Liebster Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. (Thank you again, dear Nominator!)
  • When you receive the award, post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the nominating blog.
  • Pass the award on to 6 other blogs and notify those bloggers that you nominated them. (You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you.)
  • Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
  • Paste one of several Liebster Award pictures into your blog.

So, here we go . . .

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I am left-handed.
  2. My favorite color is pink. (I also love soft yellow and teal. Maybe that’s why I love the sun and the sea, or vice versa!)
  3. My brother and I were in Sunbeam Bread commercials as young kids. (He was cuter and got paid for more spots.)
  4. I am a Virgo, but feel the horoscope characteristics paint me unfairly.
  5. However, I do confess to an unhealthy obsession with organization.
  6. Although I seem like an extrovert in social settings, I’m actually more of an introvert.
  7. I don’t really like beer.
  8. When I return to the States, I have to remind myself to drive on the right-hand side of unmarked side roads.
  9. I have a small scar on my knee from flipping a four-wheeler on my great-grandparents’ farm when I was a young teen.
  10. I love horses but am not around them often.
  11. The sound of my dog snoring makes me smile.

My Answers to Nominator’s 11 Questions

1) When people ask you “What do you do?” what do you answer, (work/hobby/spiritual)? Why?

Oh jeez. I’ve drafted numerous blog posts in my head about this, so coming up with a succinct answer is difficult. I guess, in true lawyerly fashion, my answer is, “It depends.” It depends on the questioner, the context and how I’m feeling in that particular moment. For me, the question is usually posed in a work context. I hate to say it, but it’s been my experience that Americans tend to ask this question more than people from other places who don’t try to define someone they’ve just met along those lines. Also, the question makes me uncomfortable – not because the person asked it, but because I haven’t fine-tuned my 5 second elevator speech to be able to answer it clearly! That said, my answers range from a flippant “I enjoy life!” to an insecure-boost-my-credentials response of “I was a lawyer in the States for 15 years” to the answer I’m growing into more and more, “I work as a freelance writer.”

2) What experience/knowledge do you have of individuals who are mentally ill with violent tendencies? Do you have any advice for families of those who suffer from mental illness?

I have little personal experience with mentally ill individuals with violent tendencies, so I’m not in a knowledgeable position to offer advice.  If any silver linings can be found from the recent Sandy Hook tragedies, it’s been an increase in attention to that issue, hopefully to improve the systems and supports for individuals, families and communities.

3) What do you think is the difference between spirituality and religion?

Personal perception. For me, spirituality is internal (Faith, prayer, guidance, Grace, living Life by positive principles) and religion is external (definition of denomination, institutional, dogma). The two can be combined, but one should not be assumed with the other.

4) Describe your understanding of “Paganism”.

Hmmm. You know, I don’t think I’d even be able to offer a definition from my limited understanding. “Paganism” conjures up non-Christian, even heathen, but also just more indigenous types of beliefs. I understand it can have negative connotations in our society, but my first-hand knowledge on the topic is limited, so I withhold judgment.

5) What does “Third World Country” mean to you? (Not the Wikipedia definition.)

Something that ethnocentric countries (or their citizens) apply to other countries they view as less sophisticated, less advanced, less cultured. Since that phrase holds negative connotations for me, I don’t use it. I’ve met people from, and had experiences in, so-called third world countries that were rich in intellect, culture, wisdom and insight.

6) What’s the “fanciest” dish you’ve successfully prepared?

I cook often these days, but nothing that’s fancy!  I suppose lobster SOUNDS fanciest, though. 😉

7) What was your biggest culinary disaster?

Oh boy. I don’t know if it was the biggest, but it’s the one that comes to mind . . . I was newly returned to the island and cooking dinner with Beau one evening. After a long and twisting history, this would be the first meal that we had shared in years. I was excited and nervous. He was preparing lobster, and I was cooking the side dishes. Long-grain white rice is a staple in the Bahamas, and most Bahamians can prepare it in their sleep. Much more a pasta fan myself, I didn’t cook rice, except perhaps an occasional microwave insta-rice kinda thing. Anyway, in my nervous fluster about Beau, I was completely distracted. Instead of following the instructions of 2-to-1 water to rice, I reversed it. Beau glanced in the pot, saw a load of dry rice grains with very little water, and, as diplomatically as possible, said “That looks interesting.” At which point, I realized it was a mess and I burst into tears!  We laugh about it now, but at the time, it was definitely a disaster!

8) Naked. Dirty or Natural?

Natural.

9) Tiny houses…thoughts?

Cozy. Charming. Easier to maintain. I think “cottage” instead of tiny house. The older I get, the more I value simplicity. I’m liking smaller houses more and more!

10) Do you work with deities/energies about whom/which you were taught or is your familiarity with them instinctual?

Both. Raised in traditional Christian churches, my God is the Christian God, and I enjoy worship centered on scripture and traditional hymns. However, just as I alluded to in #3 above, I think of myself as more spiritual than religious and my views are fairly broad-based. Better Life principles, for example, flourish from that background but – especially since I’m writing off-the-cuff about what resonates deep within – are more instinctual.

11) Does working with deities with whom you have no ethnic connection insult  them? (A theory I’ve heard.)

At the risk of insulting anyone, I find this notion laughable. Ethnic connections matter as it relates to anything of a spiritual nature? Uh, no.

My Nominees

Per “the rules,” it’s now my turn to nominate other blogs. Some “rules” say to nominate 11 other blogs, but my nominator followed the rule of 6, so that’s what I’ll stick to.

Also, I’m not entirely sure how “fewer than 200 followers” is defined or identified:  email subscribers? RSS subscribers? Blog FB or Twitter followers? Since the Liebster Award is fairly loose, I won’t spend time researching further and will just take the liberty to nominate smallish or newish blogs that I enjoy. (Dear nominees, I also didn’t take time to closely research your site stats. If you are booming with followers far in excess of 200, please do not be insulted by my nomination! Also, if you’re not interested in doing all of this yourself to pass along the award, I understand and will not take it personally! No worries.)

My nominees encompass both genders, five countries, lifelong professional writers and newbies, personal and professional blogs, and a range of personalities. For the special things they each bring to their blog, I present to you my nominees:

  • Jacki, a.k.a. Momma Expat, writing from Paris, in HJ Underway

My 11 Questions for Them

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What do you like best about blogging?
  3. What does “choosing the better life” (as a phrase or concept; not the blog!) mean for you?
  4. What draws you to this Choosing the Better Life blog or other blogs you follow?
  5. I identified a single word to inspire my direction for 2013. (WRITE!) What is your word for 2013, or any New Year’s Resolutions you may have made?
  6. What do you like to do for fun?
  7. Have you ever experienced something negative, then had it evolve into something positive in unexpected ways? Please describe.
  8. What three things/approaches help you achieve happiness in your day-to-day life?
  9.  What is your favorite book, or any book recommendations for us?
  10. What was your experience like in visiting (or living in ) the Bahamas? If you’ve never been to the Bahamas, what is your perception of it?
  11. What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Thanks for the nomination! What a wonderful excuse to share more with one another and pass on some great blogs!

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