Saturday, July 5, 2008

"Sharing the Love"

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!

(No, this is not my photo--I downloaded it from Google images.) We had a quiet day yesterday, although we did have a cookout with my sons and family, which we enjoyed very much--all five grandkids running around and having a good time. Second Son and his wife invited me to go with them to the fireworks afterwards, but frankly, I was too tired and spent the rest of the evening watching a great Cubs game. Husband and I are becoming couch potatoes, I'm afraid.

Last week I received an award from my Welsh friend Liz at Finding Life Hard. Before I explain the award, I just wanted to share a few of my feelings about awards in general. A few months ago I received an "E" award, and I felt a little sheepish accepting it. My blog was new, my photography is not the greatest, and, as I've freely admitted, I am no expert on gardening. Then I felt even more humbled when I tried to pass it on to others, as I realized that most of the blogs I read had already received it! Does the fact that nearly everyone else is recognized as a special blog make the award meaningless?

This time, though, I thought more about the meaning of this award and had a revelation. These are not the Pulitzers or the Academy Awards or any other award where there is only one "winner." That is not the intent of most of the blogging awards you'll see on most people's sidebars. Granted, there are probably a few--the Mouse and Trowel awards come to mind--where people actually vote and choose the best blog, the best post, and so on. But most of the other awards are a way of honoring people whose blogs we enjoy for one reason or another and who often we consider to be good blogging friends. They are a way of saying, "I always enjoy reading your blog, and I appreciate your coming to visit me and sharing your thoughts on what I have written." Looking at it from this perspective, I realized it doesn't matter how many people receive a particular "award," because a person can never have too many friends.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon Liz' blog, but I do remember I was taken in by her photos and stories of George, her Golden Retriever puppy, whose antics reminded me of dogs I've had (and have). She writes witty posts about all kinds of things, including just recently problems all women "of a certain age" can relate to, like mustache-lightening cream and anti-aging creams. But there's a serious side to Liz, too, when she writes about the plight of the elderly or the homeless. I have certainly enjoyed getting to know her and feel honored to have been included in her choices for this award.

This award was created by Crystal at Memoirs of a Mommy in honor of the heart donor who saved the life of Crystal's young son Noah. (After reading Noah's story, I made a mental note to make sure my organ donor card is up to date.)

Crystal says: The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**

It's difficult to narrow down my choices to five when there are so many wonderful blogs I like to read, but I've finally decided on the following five, in no particular order:

1. Beckie of Dragonfly Corner. Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that Beckie and I are more than blogging friends. We have been lifelong friends who have shared many ups and downs in life. Beckie is a great friend who will always give you a shoulder to cry on, listen to your venting without judgment, or laugh with you at life's little misadventures. Her blog shares scenes from her own garden and from her family life as well as some of the gardening adventures we've shared the last few months.

2. Lisa at Greenbow. Lisa's was the first blog I ever read, so Lisa, I blame you for this addiction! (Lisa has a good sense of humor, so I know she understands I'm only kidding...) Lisa is an avid birdwatcher and shows many photos of birds, including some unusual sightings, as well as scenes from her garden.

3. Cheryl at My Wildlife Sanctuary. Cheryl was my first UK blogging friend, and I feel as if I've known her for ages. Her blog title says it all: Cheryl has created a haven for wildlife in her back yard and shares her love of all of nature, particularly the bees, through her photographs and thoughtful narrative.

4. Gail at Clay and Limestone. Gail shares her vast knowledge of gardening, particularly native wildflowers, in an interesting and informative way. I think Gail should win an award for blogging etiquette: she faithfully replies to every comment on her post and leaves encouraging and helpful comments on all the other blogs she reads.

5. Mary at Mary's View. Mary writes about many topics, including the "Licker Sisters," but her main passion is for the birds who are pictured so beautifully on her blog. I know many of you are regular readers of Mary's posts and share my appreciation of her sense of humor. If you have read her last post, you also know that Mary and her family could use some extra love and prayers right now.

Ladies, thank you for making me smile and sharing your thoughts with me. Now it is your turn to do as you wish with this award: share it with 5 other bloggers who make your day, simply display your award, or quietly accept it without any fanfare.

And a final, personal note--another blogger I would have honored with this award, had she not already received it, is "Suburbia" from Moments from Suburbia. She writes about her everyday life in a usually funny, sometimes poignant way. Suburbia, since I have no other way of getting this to you, I wanted to share this ad I ran across the other day in a magazine with you. It's not an award, but the moment I saw it, I thought of you. Apparently, you have to come to Illinois to escape from the suburbs (but we have them, too!).

Wishing everyone a wonderful rest of the weekend. Back to the garden next week!


  1. Dear Rose.....Firstly I am touched that you should give me such a lovely award. You are so right when you say we are friends, I could not imagine my life now without knowing how you and Beckie are.
    Secondly I sincerely thank you for knowing me so well. The wording of this post covers every angle, and this is what I love about you so much. You have a wonderful insight into other peoples views and feelings.

    You can see from my blog I do not display awards but I do know everyone that has been given to me and who by....I accept this award graciously and you and your blog always make my day.

  2. Rose, I am honored and quite humbled by the award. You are so eloquent you don't have to worry that your blog is not appreciated as much or more than any other. Thank you so much for thinking of my blog for this award.

  3. Rose, I am honored and quite humbled by the award. You are so eloquent you don't have to worry that your blog is not appreciated as much or more than any other. Thank you so much for thinking of my blog for this award.

  4. Oh Rose you have brightened my day no end (in fact I ought to go straight to my place and change my post for today as it's a little depressing!!)
    Thanks so much for thinking of me, I do consider you as one of my dear bloggy friends and if Liz hadn't awarded you, then I would have (as you may have seen).
    Your 4th July sounds fun with all your family. Is a 'cookout' the same as a BBQ?
    I'd like to borrow (!) the poster if that's ok with you.
    Take care Rose and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend :)

  5. The first well written and well thought out post on awards describing the bloggers feelings. I feel the same way but the thought is nice.

  6. Rose,

    It is I, whom should bestow this award upon you! Everything that Cheryl, Lisa and Suburbia have said about you is do have insight into the feelings and points of view of others; you are an eloquent writer and a thoughtful and considerate friend. It's there to see in every post you write.

    Thank you for thinking about me...this is a lovely award and I am honored to accept it!


    ...and now I have new blogs to read, there's Mary and Suburbia and Crystal!

  7. Rose, congratulations on your lovely award.

    I can really relate to your perspective on blogger awards. I think you speak for a lot of people in the way you express your feelings about them.

  8. Cheryl, Thanks for all your kind comments--this is why you're so deserving of an award! I knew you didn't like to post awards--and sometimes these things become almost a chore--so I'm glad just to be able to give it to you.

    Lisa, Thanks,too. You are one of those who have motivated me to spend more time watching the birds. It really is a great way to unwind! Now I just need to go buy that bird identification book I've been wanting:)

    Suburbia, So glad I could brighten your day! You and Liz have certainly brightened mine on more than one occasion. By all means, use the poster however you wish.
    And yes, a cookout is the same as a BBQ. Husband actually did the grilling this time, the only cooking he can do:)

    Tina, Thanks for your comments and for stopping by. As soon as I finish writing this, I'll pop over for a visit.

    Gail, Thanks you for such a nice comment! I think my knowledge of gardening has doubled or tripled since I started reading blogs like yours:)
    Definitely check out those bloggers; you won't be disappointed!

    Garden Girl, Thank you--I know you just received an award, too. I was hoping I didn't offend anyone in what I said. I really think the intent of all awards is sincere and well-intentioned.

    THANKS, ladies--I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside now:) You've perked me up from the after-holiday blahs and a disappointing Cubs' loss today.

  9. Congratulations, Rose! Well deserved! And you've put me on to some wonderful bloggers.

  10. Rose, your friendship over the years has been a constant in my life. I have always known I could come to you with or for anything. Friends like you are rare and I love you dearly. Thank you for your friendship and for this award.

    Your post DOES explain what I think most of these award are about. They are day brighteners, spirit lifters, and a way to acknowledge one's efforts and friendship. When you get to be our age, you deserve some awards!

  11. Rose it is wonderful to be recognized by your readers with such a touching award.You deserve it and more.
    I would agree with garden girl.
    It is award enough for me just having
    folks stop by and comment what ever it may be.

  12. Gail, I thought what Rose wrote about you was very sweet and true! Quite an honor.

  13. Rose - congratulations. I appreciated your considerations about the meaning of these awards. I had already declined the E, but I've just gotten a different one, & what you've said has made me decide to accept & pass it along. (If I ever get my act together.)
    Who thought you could escape suburbia by coming to Illinois? Have they seen Vernon Hills or Darien?

  14. Joyce, Thanks, and definitely check out these blogs. I see you have already been lurking at Suburbia's:)

    Beckie, Thank you so much. We often don't say how we feel, but then actions speak louder than words, don't they? And, yes, we need a pat on the back every once in awhile:)!

    Nature Girl, I agree that having readers stop by and leaving nice comments is the best thing of all. Thanks.

    MMD, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to word this post--I didn't want to offend anyone. Glad you decided to accept your award--you definitely deserve it.
    That ad about Eagle Ridge just made me laugh. I'm sure it's a great resort, but I don't think of Illinois as exactly a tourist destination. People want to escape to the suburbs and then they want to escape from them:)

  15. Well done Rose - you deserve it!

  16. Thanks so much for spreading the word on the issue of organ donation Rose. We helped "Spread the Love" a couple weeks ago with a post as well. It's great to see this getting out and about.

    Just a reminder that in Illinois, you actually need to re-register after Jan. 1, 2006 to ensure your wishes to be a donor are honored. This is when the state created a new registry that you need to re-register to join. You can quickly do so over at

    Thanks again for helping spread the word.

  17. Rose, when is your 'pity party', I want to book a place now?!!!

  18. Rose, Rose, Rose. This is perhaps my favorite, "Sharing the Love". I'm so flattered and willing to accept this award. In the future, I will display it on my sidebar in memory of you.

    But, you know what? I don't even feel worthy of it. My life has snowballed out of control this spring and summer - rarely do I have time to enjoy the wonderful blogs out there. I love your blog and wish I had more time to visit. Forgive me, please.
    I WILL have more time- hopefully in July, to laugh and cry with everyone. You picked some wonderful people behind the blog.

    Hang in there with me, please?


  19. Also, Crystal's blog is much more than heartwarming. She's very special. I enjoyed visiting her.

    Thanks, Rose.



Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.