Saturday, May 4, 2013

Post A-Z: The Leibster!

So there's this thing called the Liebster, which is an award that bloggers give to each other to recognize good blogs with fewer than 200 followers. I was fortunate enough to receive this honor from Ida over at Reflex Reactions during the A-Z blogging challenge (Thank You, Ida!), and wanted to get the challenge behind me before turning my attention to answering the questions, thinking up my own questions, and nominating other blogs.

If you do any research at all on the Liebster, you'll find it has many variations--some do 5 questions and 5 blogger nominations, others do 10 or 11. Ida asked 14 questions, which was awfully fun to answer, but I'm going to bring it back down to the 11 with the questions, and 11 with the nominations...

And, as luck would have it, this fits nicely with a post I had already planned to do when I started the blog--sharing some of the blogs I really enjoyed connecting with during the challenge.

Here are the rules to the Liebster:
1. Thank your Liebster blog award presenter on your blog. *check*
2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you. *check*
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog. *check*
4. Present the Liebster blog award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. See below. *check*
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog. *check*
6. Answer the questions from your presenter, then note 11 random things about yourself before then forwarding on 11 questions from you to your nominees. *check*

Without further ado, here are Ida's questions and my answers.

1. What is the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?
I have a wonderfully complimentary husband, who says very nice things to me, all the time. I can't think of The Nicest at the moment, but I can assure you, it was undoubtedly quite lovely.

2. Something your parents taught you?
The value of hard work. Manual labor. (Haul firewood every weekend for winter warming? Check! Paint every fence post around a hundred acres? Check!) Working with your own hands to accomplish goals, not to rely on others to get where you want to go.

3. Have you ever dreamed of celebrities or famous people?
Not that I can remember immediately, though it sounds vaguely familiar, like I have at some point...

4. Do you have any quirks, rituals or superstitions?
I think of them as routines, and my mornings are very "the same." Take my meds, drink my coffee, put on breakfast, shower, up and down the stairs 16 times, check my email... I used to have some real "check the locks repeatedly" issues, but those have faded in my old age.

5. What's the most amazing thing you have seen in the sky?
Aurora Borealis in northern British Columbia, and the the Southern Cross from Australia. But a close runner-up is when we have 45 hot air balloons in the sky over Walla Walla each spring. I do adore that!

6. What's the craziest thing you have done with your hair?
We did a lot of strange things to each other's heads at boarding school. One night I braided a girlfriend's hair into tons of tiny braids. I don't remember if I let her do it to me... Ha! I've never been hugely adventurous with hair cuts or colors, but the sheer amount of hairspray in the 80s surely qualifies as strange now...

7. Have you ever seen a baby being born?
I chose not to look as Seth came out. It was enough just to PUSH. And I've never been in the room for any other babies as they've entered the world.

8. Have you ever been with someone when they died?
I have not. Yet.

9. Have you ever had a strange experience that you just can't explain?
Many times. One was while I was traveling to Canada for my Grandpa's funeral, by myself, in the dark, on snowy roads, feeling very alone and sad, and I just knew he was with me. Or God was with me and it felt like Grandpa. Either way, it was very peaceful.

10. Are you an excellent speller, bad speller, or thought you were good but use spell check a lot?
Pretty good. I don't often misspell things. I have enough of a sense to know when I'm off, and then look it up. I still have to say to myself "i after e, except after c." Wonder if I'll ever lose that?

11. Do you have/had any pets? Pick a favourite.
We currently only have one dog, Chief, a border collie; he is probably my favorite dog ever. We have had more dogs in the past, and I'm currently lobbying husband (Seth is helping) for a Welsh Cardigan Corgi, as I've always wanted one. But I also had always wanted to have (again, we had one when I was a kid) an Airedale Terrier, and that went over like a thud with our existing dogs a few years back... so I have a bit of work on my hands to get the Corgi approval process moving... As for favorite cats, I would probably harken back to sweet Princess, my Siamese cat I had during adolescence.

12. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Something to my husband about blogging being a lot of work, but being worth it.

13. Where are you sitting while writing this?
In a chair, looking out windows at brilliant sunshine, contemplating going for a walk with husband.

14. What does your name/names mean?
Sherilee is a baby backpack/sling in the Australian indiginous language, but I only heard that when I visited there in the late '80s. I can't find any other meanings online; I think my parents just liked the way it sounds. (I tell people all the time: "It was the '60s, who knows?" That seems to pass muster.)

Here are 11 random things about me:
1. I was at the beauty parlor with my mother (I was probably about 6-7 years of age) and I sat on the edge of one of those big chair/hair dryer things and the whole thing came over and broke. I still think about that incident every time I drive past that location in the town I grew up in (since I only visit there twice a year, at least it's not on my mind a lot!).

2. I can eat two days of leftovers, but then I'm done. This whole "make a pot of soup" and eat off it for a week? Can't do it. I can, however, make the same thing, over and over, for a few days. It just has to be fresh--like the same salad, the same basil-tomato-garlic pasta, etc.

3. I enter every HGTV sweepstakes that I find out about. It's a compulsion, even if I don't especially want *that* house. Twice a day, too (which is the allowable amount, of course).

4. I used to alternate between three hairstyles: super short (think Janine Turner on Northern Exposure), mid-length bob (think Molly Ringwald), and long-ish. I have now been long-ish for almost a decade, and people still come up to me and say "I can't get over that you have long hair." What? These are people who don't see me very often, but still. You have nothing else to say to me, other than remark on the length of my hair?

5. I am a very decisive shopper. I can enter a store, do one circuit and either have an item in my hand to purchase or have decided there's nothing here for me. Five minutes, tops. (This can drive some of my more "contemplative/browsy" friends a little nuts, but for the most part I a) shop alone or b) shop with likeminded cohorts.) I would also rather buy something, take it home to try it on at my convenience and risk having to return it, than go through the whole try-on thing in the store. I hate dressing room mirrors. I am also the designated returner for our family. I have not problem returning stuff. Didn't work? Take it back.

6. There is a very long list of celebrities I don't care for, and a short list of people whom I would watch in anything: Emma Thompson, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Laura Linney, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Spacey. They could be eating breakfast, or painting their bathroom a new color, and I'd watch it.

7. Speaking of painting and color: there is nothing like watching HouseHunters to realize that the whole "you can paint any room whatever color you want, go for it!" is better in theory than in actuality. There are some colors that rooms simply should not be, at least not when you're going to sell a house. Maybe it's less about the color than the hue/tone/value. Strong colors seem to have a limited life span, in terms of feeling current and not dated. I'm sure my mother the interior designer will weigh in here...

8. I love trail mix. I love making my own trail mix so I can have exactly the nuts and exactly the fruit and exactly the sweets that I want in it. Even then, I will probably pick out all of one nut at a time. Or maybe all M&Ms. Maybe this relates to the quirks in the questions Ida asked?

9. I am opinionated (true story), but I am also extremely pragmatic. Tell me what the circumstances are and I'll adapt.

10. My middle name is Ann, and for  many years after reading, many times, all of Anne of Green Gables books I insisted on spelling it "Anne with an 'e,'" like Anne Shirley. I've since gotten over that.

11. I was quite the tomboy growing up. My mother used to make a deal with me to wear a dress one day a week in middle school (by deal, I mean, she made me). Now, I probably wear dresses/skirts by choice, nine days out of 10. Even on a "casual Friday" at work, I may pick a jean skirt over jeans.

Questions for my 11 nominees:
1. If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be and what would you name it?
2. What company would you love to be the CEO of and why?
3. What is one of your favorite lines from a movie?
4. What is one piece of advice you wish you could share with the whole world?
5. What is the first thing you think when you see someone walking down the street talking to themselves?
6. Where in your life do you value complexity?
7. What is your favorite sound?
8. If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
9. What did you invent that you thought would be a great invention until you found out it was already invented?
10. What item has been on your to-do list the longest?
11. What song title best describes your relationship with your neighbors?

My 11 Liebster nominees. You can accept and follow the same drill I've done, above. Or you can say, "Thanks, Sher, but wow I'm tired and I'll just say thanks and call it good." Your call. No one offended around here, that's for sure!

I discovered all these gems during the A-Z challenge.

Ashley at Ramblings of a Silly Girl. The girl's bloggin' from NYC! Loved all of her A-Z posts.

Mel at Rambling Thoughts. A fellow Pacific Northwest blogger, from Oregon. I enjoyed following her alphabet through areas I've been to, and learned things about the region I never knew.

Jenny at The Modest Peacock. Jenny picked a very interesting theme of snailmail for her challenge. I love me some snail mail, still!

B at Faith Laces. B is pregnant and running throughout her pregnancy, and blogging about it. I find her very inspirational!

Stefani at Dreams of Nyssa. I enjoyed many of Stefani's posts throughout the challenge. She's a wonderful photographer and crafty to boot!

Tracy at A2Z Mommy and what's inbetween. Tracy had an ice cream theme throughout the challenge--what's not to love?!

Angela at Whole Food Living. Angela posted beautiful food photography and interesting info about healthful eating.

Lisa at Diary of a Square-Toothed Girl. Lisa is my dear IRL friend who encouraged me to the the A-Z challenge. I adore her for so many reasons... you will love her too, I know. I am squeaking her in as she JUST arrived at 200 followers, but I can't NOT nominate her. She rocks.

Donna at Full Measure of Joy. Donna's posts are full of spiritual nuggets; I can always find something to inspire me in my daily God-walk.

Susanne at Mrs. Mandolin. Susanne blogs from Sweden, where she took on the challenge of learning a new tune for every day of the A-Z challenge. I always enjoyed listening, and was in awe of her musical talent (and beautiful instruments!).

Talya from Grace, Grits and Gardening. Three Gs I can get behind! Talya had interesting posts and made it over to mine to comment frequently too.

Whew! I did the Liebster! Thanks again, Ida, and happy blog-finding to the rest of you!


  1. Thanks for the nomination! I have enjoyed your posts through A-Z and now plan to check out these other blogs you have mentioned.

  2. Thank you so much for nominating me, girl! I really appreciate it, however choose to only say thanks since I never can follow award rules anyway. I hope you had a lovely weekend!

  3. I had a Siamese cat too, years ago. They can be so sweet and yet playful! I love them!

  4. What a joy to read Sherilee and a unique name. Your answers made me feel like I asked some good questions, and your questions are wonderful. Anne of green Gables was a favourite for me too. The Leibster is a huge effort I am glad you enjoyed it. P.S I always have to say 'i after e...' and then I spell thier wrong :)

  5. Thank you so much for nominating me, Sherilee! It's rather hard for me to keep up The Modest Peacock sometimes because of a lot going on in my life, so to read that you had a positive experience is a huge boost of encouragement! I don't have any idea how I would answer most of those questions, so I too will say thank you and pass on the rest! ;) I hope sometime soon when I can give it more attention, I can nominate 11 others and do the questions. Until then, though, God bless you and your sweet blog always! :)

  6. Congratulations! And just this morning I read that you can submit your favourite of the A-Z blogs to an e-magazine...which will it be?

    Loved all the questions and answers on both the 1-14 and the 1-11 and then your 11 questions for your nominees. Great thought has gone into all of this work. Bless you.

    Now, re: the acres...there were only 20 of them.

    And about the colour thing in painting the interior of your house...well, I have found that the older I get the less careful I am about any rules. Some intense colours are very appropriate for small rooms (Billy Baldwin used to call them 'treasure boxes') but lately everywhere I paint a wall it turns out quite intense. Since I do the painting I figure if I get tired of it I can change it. It is one of the least expensive ways to change the look of your house...I said least expensive, not cheapest.

    I like the meaning you found for your name in Australia...sounds comforting to me. 'Ann' means gracious.

    Keep on posting, dear are an inspiration, indeed.

  7. re: #9 - I was setting up my voice mail and the prompt was "say your name". So I did, a few times, cause I didn't like how it sounded. Finally, I asked Ralphy to say my name when I gave him the signal, and that's what I ended up keeping :-) A few minutes later, he was saying my name over and over and then he said, clear as a bell, my Dad's name with our last name. It was VERY weird! It was the day after Dave proposed (shhhh, not talking too much about it right now) and I felt like it was Dad's way of saying YAY!!!

    re: #10 - do you sing "i before e except after c" (and 2 + 2 equals 4) like the Jacksons did?

    re: 11 - Puppy mills + pet good. Rescue or breeders you can visit to see how the puppies are raised...very good!


    #s 5 & 11 - me too (except I almost always wear pants) LOL!

  8. Congratulations and nice to get to know you. We are struggling now with your #2 and my teen, who doesn't seem to see the value of hard work.

    Rhonda from Laugh Quotes

  9. Thank you for the award! I'm so glad you enjoyed my blog!


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