Last week, I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Heidi of The Art of Living Fully. The Liebster Award is given by and among bloggers, to recognize the best writing available on the web. It's also a way to introduce readers to new blogs; you are eligible for a Liebster only if you have fewer than 250 regular followers.
The custom, in accepting the award, is to introduce and say something about yourself, and then to nominate a few new blogs for your readers to peruse.
Things that make me happy.
Sitting around the dinner table with my husband and children, laughing. With two of my three children in college, this is happening more and more rarely, and I have begun to really miss it.
My two dogs, Sparky and Trixie. They are wonderful companions. I can't imagine life without them.
I love to knit, sew, cook - all that domestic stuff. I love craft fairs and farmers' markets. Fireplaces on a snowy night. A good book. An afternoon spent writing on my back porch. Lunch with a friend. A cool swimming pool on a hot summer day.
Why I started blogging.
I have always wanted to be a writer. I wanted to see whether it was possible to be successful publishing my essays on this platform. The jury is still out.
The best thing that anyone has ever said about my blog.
It is actually extremely rare for anyone to say anything about it to me, let alone anything that would fall into this category! I still don't think I have many regular readers. Three people I can think of have told me in recent weeks that they look for new posts all the time, because they like my calm, reasoned tone and my way of explaining things. One of my old posts, an attempt at silly humor, still makes one of my daughters laugh every time she reads it. That, in itself, is a measure of success.
A quick anecdote: last summer, I attended a bloggers' conference in California. I went to a breakout session on coming up with creative titles and taglines for posts. We all sat around a table and introduced ourselves. When I said, "I'm Jennie, and I write a little blog called Still Life With Crockpot," the woman sitting next to me gasped and said, "Still Life With Crockpot? That's my absolute FAVORITE blog ever! I can't believe I am meeting you in person!" She wanted to take a selfie with me. I was so thrilled and surprised to be recognized. (I thought no one read my blog except my mom and my kids.) That woman has become a friend, and I have become a fan of hers, too.
One piece of advice I would offer my readers.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
I find myself repeating this mantra over and over. It's applied to so many phases of my life that I can't even begin to list them. Things have a way of resolving, no matter how much you worry or panic. By all means, be proactive in solving your problems and in seeking new pathways when doors are closed to you. But remember that most difficulties you'll encounter in life are commas, not periods.
My ultimate guilty pleasure.
I won't lie. I love a Wendy's hamburger. It's the only fast food I eat with any sort of regularity. I know, I know. Industrialized, processed meat. Eew. But it's a guilty pleasure, remember? Also, I love massages. I have no idea why, but I would give up several necessities of life for a few minutes of getting my shoulders or feet massaged.
My favorite U.S. destination.
Park City, Utah. We have a timeshare there, and we go often to ski. Beyond that, I love walking around cities. Chicago, Boston, and Sam Francisco are among my favorites. And I don't think I'll ever live too far from my native city of New York.
Two countries that make me the happiest to visit.
I love Great Britain and Germany. I speak both languages well, and that helps. But I also like the people, and the ancient cathedrals, and the cool weather.
My dream destination.
My husband and I have talked about taking a trip to Scandinavia (I've been sort of fascinated by Sweden since a neighbor gave me one of those little painted horses when I was a child, but I have never been). On the same trip, we'd like to get to St. Petersburg, too.
Blogs for you to check out:
Please visit my friend Heidi at The Art of Living Fully. She originally nominated me for this award. Until recently, her blog was called "The Magic of Mothering," but her children are grown now, and she is in the process of rebranding. She journals about her mother's Alzheimer's journey, her recent downsizing move back to the city, and many other issues of interest to women in their middle age.
I love Justine at A Half Baked Life. She writes memories and reflections, usually accompanied by a recipe tied to the theme of her post. The format is wonderful, but her intelligence and insights are her real assets. (Her husband recently wrote a guest post - a rare treat!)
Style Dementia. This will surprise anyone who knows me, because I am certainly NOT a fashion-oriented person. Think sweatpants, t-shirts, flip-flops, and no makeup, and you pretty much know what I look like. But the irresistible tag-team of Cynthia and Emily, college buddies alternately telling their stories through their style choices, will draw you in.
Malcolm Andrews is a former Navy pilot who now flies commercial planes. He brings his photography skills into the cockpit, and his exceptional aerial photography, on display at The Aerial Horizon, will take your breath away.
Thank you, Heidi, for your nomination. I hope all my blogging friends will gain a few new readers through this exercise. And if you're new here, now you know a little something about me. Please come back soon.