Leibster Award


For those who are unfamiliar with the Liebster Award rules here they are :

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions that your nominator asks you.

3. Post 11 random facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers of your own, with under 200 followers, whom you think are as awesome as you.

5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.

6. And finally… Display the Liebster Award logo on your page.

   11 random facts about me:

1- What made you start blogging the very FIRST time?

I was encouraged to start a blog by my oldest son and my fiance’ in the Winter/Spring of 2012. According to them, I have a way with words!  So, I read books on writing (Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott and On Writing by Stephen King), attended a writing symposium for an evening at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida (hosted by authors  Dennis Lehane and Andre Dubus III) and read lots of memoirs. And with the help of my oldest son’s girlfriend, created my blog last August!

2- If you had to go to a deserted island for 3 months, what 5 things would you not be able to live without?  Books, paper and pen (I count them as 1 thing!), strong coffee, my sons and my fiance’.

3- What size shoes do you wear? 7.5

4- Do you believe in true love and why? Yes but only when you are happy with yourself first and understand who you are. True love is not the stuff of Lifetime movies.  In my experience, I found that it brings me a strong sense of peace and simmering joy.  The person you are with understands you on a profound and deep level- your essence.

5- How old should a person really be permitted to drive and explain why?  Eighteen! Having two sons get their license at 16 and 17 and seeing how much better they are 3-4 years later makes me think that 18 is just about right. Executive function and the fusing of the pre-frontal lobe in the brain usually occur in boys between the ages of 18-20.

6- What is  your favorite meal of the day?  I have no favorite actually! I like all 3 meals for various reasons. I am mindful of what I eat (even when it comes to dessert!) so I enjoy every bite of anything that arrives in my bowl or on my plate!

7- If you could control the weather, what would you choose?  A day much like today. 77 degrees F. Dry and Sunny with the bluest of blue skies. I mean you cannot believe how brilliant it is out there!

8- If you could eliminate one thing evil in this world, what would that be?  All forms of violence, abuse, oppression, suppression and repression towards women. When women are held down, disrespected, or not allowed to have a voice,  everyone is held back from moving towards the fullest expression of themselves and towards being  a gcontributing citizen of the world.

9- We have animal protection, child protection, should we start having laws protecting elderly persons?  Absolutely! We treat our elders as if they are waiting to die rather than a person who has lived a life and deserves dignity and the utmost respect.

10- Have you ever had a speeding ticket and when was that?  Never! A warning once but never a ticket.

11- What did you want to be when you were in Grade school?  I was too busy playing to even think about it!

Eleven Facts About Myself:

1) I love to run and have been involved in the sport at various levels since I was 11 (that is 41 years with some time off in my 20’s).

2) I love yoga almost as much as running. My mat is always out and I attend hot yoga classes regularly.

3) I love being outside-hiking, mowing, shoveling snow, running, walking-any reason to get out every day.

4) I love good food and I love to eat.

5) I love a good strong cup of coffee in the morning when I wake up.

6) I speak my mind. For years, I forgot how to do that and now I do it all the time!

7) I love being a mom to my twenty-something sons. They turned out to great men thanks to me!

8) I love to write and read. I think the only time I didn’t read a book was when I was giving birth to my sons!

9) I love the beach-no matter what season.

10) I love spending time with my girlfriends.

11) I love training for and running in half-marathons with my fiance’.

Many of the blogs I follow have more than 200 subscribers or have already been awarded a Liebster.  So after careful consideration, I am nominating the following wonderful writers:

1) Heidi Barnes at: http://www.anauthorandhermuse.com/:  Gifted writer. A joy to read.  Check out her books.

2) Annie at  ANNIE’S MUSE  Love her poetry and her point of view.

3)  Charlene  whose words really rock! at Brighterdays Blog

4)  The lovely and powerful Pink Woods

5) Amazing, suspenseful flash fiction from:  Amanda’s Writing

6) Photography, flash fiction, poetry and a newly published book from:  Artifacts and Fictions

7)   I truly admire Maria’s creative versatility and her love of the outdoors. Check her out @ xxculture

Here are your questions (with 1 or 2 from the ones posed to me)

1)  What is one place in the world that you would like to visit?

2)  What is your favorite word?

3) What is your least favorite word?

4) If you were to meet someone famous (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

5)  What book have you read lately that you would recommend?

6) When was the first time you fell in love?

7)  What is your dream job?

8)  What job would you least like to do?

9) If you could eliminate one thing evil in this world, what would that be?

10) If you had to go to a deserted island for 3 months, what 5 things would you not be able to live without?

11) What is your favorite time of day and why?

Congratulations Nominees!

Super Sweet Blogger Award

The super sweet blogger awardf

I was recently nominated for the Super Sweet Blogger Award by Colline at Colline’s Blog (http://collinesblog.wordpress.com/).  I want to take the time to thank her for the nomination and more importantly, being a supportive follower of my blog.

In accepting this nomination, I will tell you a bit about my sweet tooth :)

I love love  love dessert! In fact, I even wrote about it!  You can follow the link here: https://buildingalifeofhope.com/2012/08/12/sweet-cravings/

In no particular order, here are some favorites that come to mind:

1. Brownies with vanilla ice cream.  Last winter, I started making homemade ones instead of the ones from the box. Outrageous! The taste is pure and it is impossible just to have one.

2.  Good cookies. I have access to good bakeries here so I have become spoiled with these yummy delights.

3. York Peppermint Patties.  I always get a bag in my Christmas stocking and even bought three regular size ones at the grocery store today. Keeping cool in refrigerator!

4. Pie.  Usually any kind. We used to have “Pie Night” on Monday nights here when “The Closer” was on TNT. We would dashed to the kitchen during the first commercial break and load up!

5. Cake.  I like to have cake as a celebratory dessert. Any kind. Any celebration.

6, Ice Cream. I used to eat this every night for years. I like it a lot but rarely have it now.

I always crave something sweet after supper -never before.  A habit since childhood for sure. And I do have a sweet nickname but I would like to keep it private!

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this special award:

1)  a little bird tweets Tremendous flash fiction and poetry

2)  Talicha J. Poet and Composer  Spoken and written word poet among other fabulous creative pursuits.

3)  Simple Pleasures~ Beautiful photography with words of wisdom-just lovely!

4)  storyshucker  Heartfelt, Homespun, Heartwarming, Humorous tales from everyday life. I always feel better after I read Stuart’s posts.h

Happy Sunny Sunday

Hello my friends!

photo credit: whatsyourbackground.net

If you have viewed my blog today, you will have noticed that I have posted three award logos to my home page’s sidebar. It has taken me some time to figure out how to do that as I am challenged in this area!  With help from WordPress Support and my oldest son, I finally did it last night!

So today I hope to write 3 new posts to recognize those others out there who have supported my writing and whose writing deserves a bigger audience. I am in the midst of organizing my thoughts as well as making a list of bloggers to honor.  I may not get to everyone. But I do hope that those that I missed will understand that I appreciate their work and the fact that they follow me!

Today is a perfect summer day here.  I am heading out to spend time with my soul sister in the sunshine. This may interfere with my goal!  Days like this must be seized!

Thanks for reading!

Vita da Sogno*

photo credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

“Philomena! Philomena! Why are you wasting your time chasing a sogno irrealizzable?”  Her mama’s falsetto was grating on Philomena’s last nerve. Her passion-sketching, designing and stitching women’s fashion-went against her parent’s wishes to marry Arturo, the local cheese-maker. Her plans did not include an early marriage to a man who smelled of soured milk and curds day and night.

Paris-the city of high couture- was where here heart belonged. She ran to her room and grabbed her sketch pad, charcoals and blanket. She would hide away in the olive grove and create her newest ideas. Almost as an afterthought, she took some spare coins from her dresser. The cinema was debuting a new matinee today. She could not resist the films of Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardott or Audrey Hepburn.; women of independence and classic, sensual styles.

Philomena raced down the stairs,  ignoring her mama’s obvious exasperation (her hands on her hips and her lips in a line). She was all of these women and more-her determination far outweighing the temptation to give in to cumbersome tradition.

*dream life

Once again it is Free Write Friday via Kellie Elmore!  I wrote this while at the doctor’s office today. Feeling under the weather-kidney infection! But no matter. Imagination won over discomfort!

Here’s the link:

#FWF Free Write Friday: Word Bank

by Kellie Elmore

This week’s FWF prompt is a word bank:

blanket – falsetto – cumbersome – cinema – coins



Photo credit: www.skin-retreat.com

Lola was drowning. Choking. Spitting. A bucket of frigid water had been dumped on her from an opening in the shed’s roof.  Her wounds stung and her body shivered with the shock. “Breathe Deep and Stay Strong,” she told herself. Abruptly, the door flew open and two men untied her and pulled her up. She was wrapped in a white sheet blindfolded and gagged. Then the cocking of a 12 gauge. She knew that sound. As a child, she had been trained in weaponry for use in protection and hunting. Now, 20 years old and a trained Scout, she carried a  9 mm in her backpack. Lot of good it did now. The pack was somewhere in that cornfield. Lola was angry with herself for falling asleep. She hoped the pack and all its supplies would remain hidden until she developed her escape plan.

“Too bad we can’t touch her.” It was the voice of the Rifleman talking. “Yep. I bet she’d be mighty fine.” Another voice with another gun. “But you know them rules. If we ever get caught, we’d be dead on the spot. Remember what happened to Wayne.”

Unable to walk because of the sheet, the men placed her on a gurney and carried her out of the shed. Lola felt the cool air on her face. Must be late afternoon by now, she thought.The men were gruff in their movements as the path became rougher. Lola listened hard to the sounds around her. Nothing but birds. She could feel their presence along the route. No crows or vultures. The sing-song of the cardinal and the mournful coos of a dove. Oddly soothing.

“HALT!” They stopped with a lurch that nearly toppled Lola off the stretcher.The voice was commanding. “Bring her to the Intake Suite.  She needs further preparation before a final decision is made.” The route took a turn downhill. Lola was replaying the route in her mind.  Previous information from other Scouts had never mentioned an Intake Suite.

Before long, Lola heard a sliding wooshing sound as if two doors were opening automatically. She felt as if they stepped into a sterile hospital setting; she could almost feel the smoothness of the linoleum floor even if her feet weren’t touching the ground. She could see the glare of the florescent lights through the cloth that covered her eyes. Then another Woosh. Another opening and finally a room.

She was placed on a table and  they removed the blindfold from her eyes but left her gagged and wrapped. Woosh. Woosh.  “Thank you, gentleman.” The voice was melodious for a man.  “You’ve earned some time off for this catch. Tell Merle to make sure you get two days at the Saddle Club.”

The Rifleman and his companion left without a word. “Now let’s take care of the rest of you, my dear. But you cannot speak. Otherwise, I will see fit to punish you.” The sheet and cloth were taken from her body in one fell swoop. “Aah. So beautiful. Stand up and turn around.” Lola obeyed. As she turned herself, she took in the room. Sparse. One large comfortable chair at the end of the room and the table. She wouldn’t be here long. She knew that much.

“The Team will have to take special care of you. Your beauty is one of a kind. Worthy of special status. We will need to save you for just one man alone. But the Master will have the final word.”

The Master. Supreme Leader of the Restoration Party. Father of twelve sons from two wives. Believer in the fruitful multiplication of the party. Lola had a feeling she would be ripe for the picking.