Versatility… My First Award!

27 May

StillMary at Musings of the Sixties gave me an award on Tuesday. An AWARD! Thanks, StillMary!

It’s not a huge award and it won’t make me world-famous or rich or anything, but I still think it’s pretty cool. Because it’s a total stranger saying, “I like reading your Blog.” Which is awesome, if you ask me. I like reading her Blog, too. And seeing her pictures. She’s a mother of six, one of whom happens to be Beth (I Should Be Folding Laundry), the lovely young lady who started the You Capture meme I participate in sporadically. She’s got 19 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson, too. She’s no boring Granny, though. Be sure to check out her Blog when you have time.

Anyway… people who have been given this award are supposed to share the love as follows:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award (done!);

2.Tell seven things about yourself; and

3. Pass the award on to other Bloggers you find to be versatile, too.

Hmmm. This might be harder than I thought…

Although, truth be told, my department at work is having a contest where you have to match everyone’s picture with their brief bio. To participate, we all had to write a bio, so I could just cheat and use that. But I’ll be different and reveal some stuff that fans may or may not already know…

Thing 1: My Job

Most people know I have a full-time job. I’ve been working for this particular employer for almost four years (gasp!). The job isn’t always fun, but I do work with some very nice, interesting people.

Wanna know what’s weird, though? Most of the people I work with on a regular basis, I have never met in person. There are some I’ve seen once or twice, but most of them I have never seen. That’s why we’re doing the picture + bio contest.

Are you wondering why I don’t get to see my co-workers? It’s because, like me, many of them are regional employees and work either from their home or one of the company’s more-remote locations. We communicate primarily by e-mail and telephone. When I say I’m having a “meeting,” I really mean a teleconference. It may sound easy and full of perks, but I gotta say the hours can sometimes be long and it is often very stressful. I write proposals, which are subject to pretty tight turnaround times. Not only do I have to write the proposal describing the services we are providing, I have to develop the budget to go along with each. Sometimes there are multiple budgets.

Imagine being given a week to crank out a 60-page document and 1,000-line budget describing services you sort of understand and detailing costs others, who are often too busy to respond to your requests for input, have to define. Like I said, it can get a bit stressful. And as deadlines approach, the days can be long.

One of the quilts I've made.

Thing 2: What I’d Rather Be Doing

As jobs go, I guess mine is okay. But there’s lots of other stuff I would rather be doing. I guess you’d call these activities hobbies. Photography is one of those things, of course. But then y’all knew that, right?

Did you know I like to sew? I’m a total novice. And I don’t have nearly enough time to do as much stuff as I’d like. But I will one day. What I like most about sewing is the creativity in finding a bunch of different fabrics that I think will work well together. Most of the time, they do, too. The quilt pictured here is the one I made for one of the guest bedrooms at the WV place (I made the curtains to match, too). It is a very rudimentary, hand-tied quilt. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the patience to do the really intricate hand-stitched quilting, but some of the projects I’ve made have turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.

ToadMama the Ranger

Thing 3: The Job I Wish I Had Chosen

You know what they say about hindsight… I should have been a forest ranger. That would be a job I would really enjoy. I could work at Yosemite National Park. Or maybe Yellowstone. Although they might be too crowded. How about a more remote one like maybe Katmai National Park in Alaska? Or Denali?

Although, with my luck, I’d get stuck somewhere hugely boring like George Washington Birthplace National Monument. That is NOT the same thing as Mt. Vernon in Northern Virginia. It is in Virginia, but it’s in the sticks.

Can’t you just see me as a ranger? I wouldn’t want to be stuck at the entry gate, though. I’d want to be doing stuff like patrolling the woods for lost hikers, or monitoring the critters in their habitat, or guiding kayak trips in Glacier Bay. You know, nature stuff.

Thing 4: Why I Haven’t Been Online Much Lately

Hubby and I have been on a house beautification kick. The MD house has been sorely neglected over the past several years. With us spending most weekends at the WV place, we just don’t have much time to do things at the house in MD. Things like flower bed maintenance. Painting. Home improvements. You know, normal stuff. We’ve been doing all of those things lately and it’s been keeping us pretty busy. That’s why it took me so long to acknowledge this award. That and the fact that it’s hard to come up with seven interesting things to say about myself.

Thing 5: I Am Really Bad When It Comes to Deleting Pictures

You all know I like to take pictures. What you probably don’t know is just how many pictures I have taken over the years (a lot, trust me). Sometimes, you have to take 20-30 shots to get one really good image. So I end up with all these extra images that I say I’ll delete one day. And then I don’t.

Couple that with the fact that I take pictures of odd stuff, too. Like these cinnamon rolls…

Hubby's Famous Cinnamon Rolls

Most of the really weird images you’ll find on the computer are shots I have taken for the Blog.

Thing 6: Which House I Like Best

Hands down, I enjoy being at the WV place more than I like being at the MD place. Most of you know the story behind the WV place. For those of you who only discovered me recently, you should CLICK HERE to see what “story” I am talking about. THAT was quite the DIY project. Looking back, I’m glad we did it, of course, even if it was a lot of work. I really enjoy living in the woods.  Hopefully, once we whip the MD place back into shape, we’ll be able to spend some more time there. I mean, jeez. Pretty soon I’ll be saying the WV place has been neglected…

Thing 7: I’m Playing Soccer Again!

I can’t remember if it was eight or nine years ago. Either way, I was either 34 or 35 when I started playing soccer. I grew up in Baltimore City during the late-70s/early-to-mid-80s. They didn’t have soccer programs for girls. Heck, there weren’t a lot of sports programs period. Except for in the high schools. I played a lot of baseball and football (the American kind) when I was in elementary and junior high school. Had I known anything about soccer back then, I would have just played on the boys’ team.

Anyway… eight or nine years ago I saw an ad in the paper about this program to create real soccer moms. Not the sideline-riding, kid-taxiing, snack-bringing kind. The kind that actually got out onto the field and play. I’d always enjoyed watching the kids play. I thought it looked like fun, so I gave it a try. And I loved it.

I stopped playing a year or two ago mainly because I needed a break. I hated having to rush back from the WV place to make it to the games, which are played on Sundays. I mean, we’d finally finished the WV place, I wanted to be able to enjoy it. Plus, I’d packed on some pounds and running wasn’t easy.

Last year, I decided to shed some of those extra pounds. (I lost 30 pounds!) Of course, I gained a few back over the Winter (who do you think ate those cinnamon rolls?). And, honestly, I’ve missed playing soccer. It really is a fun sport. So I rejoined my team in April. And I am so glad I did. I am also happy to report that I made it through the season injury-free. Except for a couple of pretty big bruises, but those aren’t really injuries.

Versatile Bloggers I Know

Talk about tough! There are quite a few blogs that I frequent. Most are on my Blogroll on the left side of the screen. Rather than give this award to any of those folks, I decided to pass it on to Bloggers I’ve only recently (relatively) discovered. These are all people whose Blogs I think you might enjoy, too.

So here goes…

Household Diva 6: This Blog belongs to Ann Marie, an American mother of three, married to a soldier, who happens to be living in Germany right now. I met her through the aforementioned I Should Be Folding Laundry (StillMary already gave her the Versatile Blogger Award). Ann Marie takes awesome pictures, she makes really cool cakes, she’s got three adorable kids. The list goes on. Just check her out. Really.

The Old Nichols Farm: Meet Jess, another Mom photographer with a twist. She lives on a farm. So, in addition to her very good photographs and cute kids, she has lots of cool critter pics, too.

Random Ramblings: Finally, there’s Melissa. An Iowan with three dogs (one that’s REALLY bad), two cats and a husband that’s a kidney cancer survivor. She doesn’t post nearly as frequently as the other two, but she’s got some great stories and also takes very nice pictures.

I hope you take a few minutes to visit each of these blogs. And be sure to leave a comment saying something like, “The awesomw, amazing, VERSATILE, and witty ToadMama sent me!” Or maybe “ToadMama sent me” would be sufficient.

10 thoughts on “Versatility… My First Award!

  1. Lest you think she’s kidding about “never deleting any pictures”, a quick check of the home network pictures folder has these stats:
    24,367 files in 627 folders consuming 60,749,271,040 bytes of disk space (as in 60 gigabytes).

    Yep. Never deletes any pictures has got to be a pretty accurate statement.

    In all fairness though, not all of those are Toadmama’s pictures. 147 of them are mine.

  2. Geez. I can’t believe Mike up there was trying to blame you for ALL the pictures when 147 of them were his. Unbelievable.
    Okay, thanks for making me look so smart in passing this award on to you because you are such an interesting writer and photographer and I learned so much about you!
    Quilts? Really? and the DIY projects. I didn’t realize you had two houses. I thought just the WV one. And your job. I had gathered that you were a proposal writer but I had no idea what that meant and now that I have some idea I can’t believe how complicated it sounds. Yikes!
    And you didn’t include this as a fact – you kind of slipped it in – but you have a husband who makes cinnamon rolls. Get out! I am so jealous.
    (Although, I have far more picture files than you on my computer. Sorry.)
    And you’re a soccer player! Wow. Here I thought you were just a motorcycle mama who enjoyed writing and taking pictures. I’m glad I found out you’re so much more!

    • StillMary, Your comment made me laugh. Hubby, too! He asked how you can possibly have more pictures than me, though. I guessed it’s that you have twice as many kids and SIX TIMES as many grandkids. He guessed you may have gone digital before me, too.

      I am definitely one with far too many interests and/or far too little time. And, yes, Hubby is the baker here for sure. I like to cook, and I do bake occasionally, but that whole making-dough-and-letting-it-rise thing is beyond my patience. I make some pretty good chocolate chip scones, though. And cookies. 🙂

      You should check out this Cinnamon Roll post for the artsy, step-by-step shots.

  3. Wow – you ride motorcyles AND play soccer!! Can I come over and play at your house?? LOL – I am guilty of not deleting any of my pictures too… Its enough work to chase three kids with my camera, download them, blog em, and sleep! 🙂 I’ll prolly start deleting when Maggie is in Kindergarden… or College… LOL!

    Thank you for the kind words! They mean a lot!

    PS – will you save me one of those cinnamon rolls??!! YUMMY!!! 🙂

    • Ann Marie, I was a little nervous during the last match on Sunday. It was a hard-played game between the top two seeds in the league. Motorcycle riding requires the unencumbered use of all four limbs. An injury right about now would REALLY have been bad…

      The cinnamon rolls were actually from January. He doesn’t bake much during the warmer months. I’ll ship you one next time, maybe.

  4. Kathy my daughter is a woman of many talents and I am so proud of her. I called her earlier today to let her know I really like this Blog this morning. It has shown many people all her many talents. Her quilting is wonderful–she surprised me at Christmas with one she made, earlier in the year she made me a quilted curtain for our closet door.

    She also is a great decorator of her home and her West VA home. If I was good at this computer scene I would post the quilt and curtain pictures she made for me, but you will just have to take my word for it.

    Kudos! For the award Kathy I thought it was very nice.

    Love
    Mom

  5. ToadMama, I had a crazy week and have been MIA from the blogging world… how fun to find this when I returned! My mom loves quilting too. And you know photos are pretty cheap to store, virtual clutter is certainly not the worst thing in the world! 😉

    Thanks for the love!

  6. Thanks for the award!

    I have so much to say about this post(shocking, I know). So jealous about the quilt. I can’t sew a stitch, although I did just buy a sewing machine. So far it’s pretty useful in gathering dust. Now, “your” hand in the park ranger pic…are you flipping us off? Mmmmm….cinnamon rolls.. I know exactly what you mean about writing something that you don’t entirely understand. I used to work for a casino, I wrote the manuals to teach dealers how to deal certain games. I had no clue what it meant, but it sounded good and looked pretty. I don’t delete pics either, isn’t it amazing the silly pics we’ll take for the blog? Soccer?!? It sounds like fun, but I can’t even walk down my stairs without getting injured. That settles it, you’re way more talented than me!

    Oh, and your Mom’s comment made me smile!

  7. Melissa,

    I’m waving in the pic. I’m a happy Forest Ranger, even if I did get stuck with gate duty that day.

    Sewing basic stuff like I do is easy. If I can do it, anyone can.

    I’ll read your post later when I have more time.

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