The First (possibly)-Annual Reader-Appreciation Awards

I didn’t write as much, or as well as I wanted to in 2011. I fell out of routine at times and there were a lot of gaps in between postings.  Even so, I somehow managed to maintain a somewhat regular schedule of blogging, even if that meant I sometimes only wrote once in a week.

One of my goals for this year is to write more and write with more quality. One thing I’ve never lost sight of is how much I enjoy writing, so I’m looking forward to a less chaotic year than last and giving it a better effort.

Even though I felt as if my writing lost a step in the past year, I still managed to write a total of 199 posts, and that’s not bad. WordPress was kind enough to provide a year-end summary, and they tell me that my blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2011. Also not bad! The year-end summary told me who commented most often on the stuff I wrote. And since half the fun of blogging is meeting and interacting with the friends you make online, I thought it only appropriate to express my gratitude to those who came back to visit time and again.

MJ at Emjayandthem’s Blog honored me with a fun award. I’m going to follow her lead and share it with my top commenters of 2011. So, without further adieu, I present to you, the First (possibly)-Annual These Are Days Reader-Appreciation Awards!

TA-DAAAAAA!

Thank You!

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Award your top 6 bloggers who have commented the most.
  2. Be thankful. (I am!)
  3. You cannot award someone who has already been awarded (I’m not sure how I would know if you have been awarded before, so we might be breaking some rules here !) and also cannot give the award back to me.
  4. Don’t forget to tell the bloggers you’ve awarded.
  5. If you don’t want to pass on this award, that’s okay too.
The most active commenters on this blog last year were:
  • Agg79 – a world traveler, runner, Boy Scout-supporter and Golden Lab-lover who writes My Two Cents
  • Kathy McCullough – a memoirist, an artist and woman of compassion who writes Reinventing the Event Horizon
  • Rock Chef – a cyclist, guitarist, wonder-husband and dad; a war-gamer and author of a blog with the ever-changing name who writes  Snap-Happy Rock Chef
  • de-I - a man of extraordinary culinary skills, an avid hiker, a lovable goofball and my kidney-donor buddy who writes de-Intimidator
  • Jeni Hill Ertmer - a  woman with amazing embroidery skills, a love of her Swedish heritage, a passion for genealogy and a wonderful mother and grandmother who writes Down River Drivel
  • Jules - a tough chick who recently married her best friend, is a do-it-herselfer,  a baker of  the most beautiful cupcakes and hater of spiders who writes Shenanigans of Jules

If you’ve got some spare time, please go check out the blogs of these wonderful writers. These are the people who had the most to say, but there are many others who join in the conversations here on a regular basis., Just check my newly created blogroll to see all of the blogs I try to keep up with! And there are some who don’t write but stop by to comment now and then too. (Shelly, Rosie!) Thank you to all of you who come here to read, comment, make me smile and offer support. Writing here wouldn’t be nearly as fun without you!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes our ceremony. See you again next year. Maybe. :-)

I'm Over the Top

overthetopawardGary of the always entertaining Gary’s World graced me with the Over the Top award! (I think the nekkid bowling thing made me a front-runner for the award!) Thanks, Gary!

So there’s a catch to accepting this award. You have to answer a few personal questions, but the catch is, you can only answer each question with one word. One word answers? Kind of a challenge for us bloggers, isn’t it? But I rose to the challenge! 

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk

2. Your hair? Scrunched

3. Your mother? Selfless

5. Your favorite food? Steak

6. Your dream last night? Faded

7. Your favorite drink? Beer

8. Your dream/goal? Writer
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9. What room are you in? Office
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10. Your hobby? Bowling
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11. Your fear? Loss
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12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Secure
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13. Where were you last night? Home
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14. Something that you aren’t? Judgemental
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15. Muffins? Jumbo
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16. Wish list item? Photoshop
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17. Where did you grow up? Minnesota
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18. Last thing you did? Drove
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19. What are you wearing? Jeans
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20. Your TV? Annoying
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21. Your pets? Lucky
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22. Friends? Fun
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23. Your life? Chaotic
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24. Your mood? Peaceful
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25. Missing someone? Yes
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26. Vehicle? Dirty
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27. Something you’re not wearing? Pantyhose
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28. Your favorite store? Express
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29. Your favorite color? Undecided
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30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
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31. Last time you cried? Sunday
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32. Your best friend? Gina
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33. One place that I go to over and over? ATM
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34. One person who emails me regularly? Mom
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35. Favorite place to eat? Mattie’s :-)
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Now comes the big challenge… Who to pass this on to? Who hasn’t done this one? Or more to the point; Who is most likely to participate? Rock Chef? Joe? JeniJudy? What do you say?

Life is Good – August 21, 2009

IMG_0622_1 by you.Another week has flown by and it’s Friday again already. Time to look back over the past seven days and count my blessings.

There were plenty of clouds and rain this week and even a tornado warning.  On Wednesday there was a tornado sighted in Minneapolis. Outside my office in St. Paul, the sirens began to blow. A quick glance at the calendar reminded me it wasn’t the first Wednesday of the month, so it wasn’t just a drill. Looking out my window, the skies were dark and the wind was blowing. Rain was pummeling the downtown streets below. The employees were actually asked to seek shelter in the stair wells as we waited for the worst of it to pass. Tornadoes are known to hit hard and fast without much warning and the damage can be severe. In Minneapolis, the roof was blown off a duplex and the residents were left homeless. Luckily, the storm mellowed and no damage was done in our area.

All the rain this week has made the prospect of going out for a run less than appealing. Lucky for me, I’m enjoying a one week free trial at the local gym. I have given a few of the machines a try and quite enjoyed them. (I really like the elliptical machine!) I have decided that I do, in fact want to actually join the gym. I’m trying to be smart about the process of joining and get the most for my money. I have asked around about initiation fees and monthly charges at other gyms. I even went so far as to ask my neighbor and good friend, Bill if he’d mind telling me what he paid when he and his family joined the same gym a few months ago. Bill avoided giving me a direct answer and instead reminded me that he is a member of the local business professional association and that he has an “in” with Susan, the manager at the gym. He promised to talk with Susan and ensure I was offered the best prices. A couple days later, Bill called me with some good news. I will not be paying an initiation fee at all and will pay only the very reasonable monthly fee that I was quoted. It pays to have friends in positions of power!

IMG_0613 by you.Speaking of friends, we had a couple of special ones staying with us this week. Brad’s girlfriend Heather, and her dog, Dacotah arrived on Monday. Brad finished up at his summer job early this week and he and Heather have been enjoying some down-time before they leave to return to school in North Dakota today. It was nice having them around. Heather is just a sweetheart and she fits right in and accepts all of our family craziness as if it were normal. She and Brad even cooked a taco dinner for everyone one night. IMG_0608 by you.And Dacotah was entertaining as always. There is still a lot of puppy in her and she’s fun to play with. She found a big stick in the back yard and entertained herself endlessly, refusing to let anyone take it and throw it for her and even wanting to bring it in the house, though we wouldn’t let her.

IMG_0581 by you.Of course, with the extra bodies in our not-so-large house, there was a need on my part for some space. Wednesday evening provided the perfect opportunity. Our summer bowling league came to its official end and we celebrated with a banquet. Our team didn’t break any records. In fact, it was quite the opposite. We came in 17th out of 18 teams. But we had fun and that’s all that really matters. We didn’t walk away entirely empty handed though. Dave earned a couple of patches and yours truly earned a bobble-head trophy! Never mind the fact that it was pretty much the booby prize since I won it for low series!Trophy by you. It was cool! Check this baby out! The top teams may have won big money, but everyone wanted to see my cool trophy.

I just got myself a new pair of bowling shoes and women’s leagues begin in a few weeks. After a summer of bowling against the very competitive men, I’ve learned much, improved my skills and I’m ready to kick some butt in the women’s league!

Jake has had a busy week, working like crazy. He loves his job and has been wanting to get more hours. He has a new manager who really seems to be impressed with his work ethic, so Jake got his wish.  Suddenly, he’s got all the hours he wants!

Finally, my list of blessings wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Kacey. She’s been busy trying out for the volleyball team at school. She brought home an evaluation form that was completed by the team of coaches and it listed her strengths as her “calming attitude” and “consistency.” I am proud to report that she earned a position on the JV team and I’m looking forward to watching her play her favorite sport this fall.

Life is good!

It's official. I am addicting and excellent.

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Robert is addicted to my blog! And who can blame him? Where else can you find all the riveting news on topics such as flatulence and subzero temperatures? Who else do you know that can find chocolate chip cookies inside a clean and folded t-shirt while putting the laundry away and not question it? (Ok, I didn’t actually write about that, but it’s true.) That’s right. You gotta come here for this kind of excitement!

I was really thrilled to hear that Robert is addicted to my blog because I am equally addicted to his. He writes the most amazing poems, describes wild and crazy adventures involving the thievery of his favorite snakeskin boots and is having the time of his life exploring all kinds of new interests and talents after hanging up his truck driving hat. I have to say, he also looks pretty dang good in a kilt!

In addition to Robert’s blog, there are a few blogs that I’ve recently discovered that I’m quickly becoming addicted to. These are written by some very talented, intelligent and funny women!

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And not only did I receive the honor of having my blog labeled as addicting, my buddy Rock Chef deemed my blog to be excellent! Rock Chef is really the one with the excellent blog. He has an eternally positive outlook and a fantastic sense of humor, as evidenced by his guide to Man-Speak. AND he endeared himself to all of his women readers when he took care of his wife after a surgery, took over her role in the household, and then wrote about the appreciation he gained for all she does for the family.

There are so many blogs that I classify as excellent. They are funny, optomistic, thought provoking and powerful. Just to name a few, here are some of the blogs that keep me coming back for more…

Ok then…..

I should wrap this up now….

Don’t you hate when you can’t figure out how to end these things?

I’ll just slip away quietly….. and go look for some more of those chocolate chip cookies in the laundry…..

Award-a-mania

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In early January, Sandy bestowed the Shameless Lion award on me. Sandy has a beautiful blog full of inspirational words and pictures and she often leaves me awestruck. Sandy, I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge this! My lame excuse is that I kind of forgot about it after my blog was hacked and the award got lost in the shuffle after setting up the “temporary” site.

Here’s how the award works: Distribute this award to those people who have blogs we love and can’t live without; blogs where the writing is good and powerful. Interested recipients can publish the award on their own blogs, naming five people they would like to give it to, and accompany the image with three things they believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful.

Three of the things that keep me coming back to a blog again and again are humor, honesty and the strength to draw from one’s innermost thoughts and feelings and put it in writing for the world to see. I am passing this award on to:

  • Jay at DatCurious.com, for putting a humorous spin on sex ed.
  • Dan at Camp Danny, a brand new blogger and real life friend who has recently discovered a talent for putting his thoughts into writing.
  • Kikibee for deep down honesty and sharing her vast knowledge of women’s fashion.
  • MissGotWings for her faith, perseverence, and love of life.
  • Beth at Moon Rising for sharing all she has learned in life with those who are still trying to find their way.

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Meleah at Momma Mia, Mea Culpa shared the Biggest Heart Award with many, including me. Meleah is a sweetheart who has been down many roads in her life and she shares them all with her readers; the good, the bad and the heartbreaking. She does this with humor and often with tear-jerking honesty. I just love her!

I want to share this with all who extended words of sympathy, hope and encouragement after I wrote about my fear that I will soon be losing my beautiful Shelby dog:

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Huckdoll at Hey, I’m going crazy. Are you coming? awarded me the Classy Blog award, right on the heels of me pronouncing myself a bad-ass mama, so I’m not sure how well I qualify! Huckdoll is one of my new favorite bloggers because she tells it like it is. She’s young and so cute and has the most adorable twin girls and she stands up for what she believes in. I love the way she speaks her mind so openly! I also love the fact that she’s a rule breaker, choosing to pass all of her many awards on to only one other blogger each regardless of what the original rules say to do. Everyone loves Huckdoll and she has been bombarded with well-deserved awards.

I’m going to follow Huckdoll’s lead and pass this on to one blogger, Kenady at The Jackson Family Adventures. Kenady shares her adventures with her family, friends and kids, who are the cutest things you’ve ever seen. She has a fantastic eye with her camera and I love all the pictures she posts. She’s upbeat and positive and makes a point to share the good things she finds in her days, even when she’s having a tough one.

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And finally, I again owe a huge THANK YOU to Sandy at Writing in Faith for nominating me for a Blog Star award which was presented to me by Shai Coggins. Shai writes, “Blog Stars don’t need to have a massive audience. Whether they have 1or 1,000,000 readers/viewers/subscribers, the most important thing is that they make a difference in their audience’s life. These awardees obviously do!”

Sandy nominated me, writing, “Terri is honest, spirited, and fun! She talks about her own life, she laughs at herself, and her heart is clearly in the right place.

Thank you, Sandy, for such words of praise. I am truly honored and consider it a gift to have been able to get to know you through our blogs. Thank you, Shai, for your generosity in recognizing bloggers, no matter how big or small their audience may be.