The Liebster Awards!

I’ve received a Liebster Award!

I am tickled pink! I think it’s sweet, and it’s really nice to know that somebody out there is actually reading my posts! Besides, who doesn’t like being acknowledged, eh?

I was awarded the Liebster Award by Liz over at Liz Makes Stuff – thank you Liz! You’ve warmed my heart and I am thrilled to my toes. Liz has a lovely blog and I think you should all go and check it out!

But…what the heck is the Liebster Award, you may ask? I had no idea, and so I set myself the task of finding out.

Here is what I discovered:

  • The Liebster Award is a recognition that is passed on from one small blogger to another as a way of supporting & helping each other grow their respective blogs.  Sort of a “hey, I like your blog and I’d like other’s to discover it, too”, sort of thing.
  • What defines a small blog? In the various Liebster Award descriptions, I’ve found small blogs defined as fewer than 50 followers, fewer than 200 followers, fewer than 300 followers, fewer than 500 followers, fewer than 3000 followers, and blogs younger than 6 months. So that’s quite a spread. I wonder in which direction it evolved.
  • Leibster means “dearest” in German. It also means sweetest, kindest, loveliest, nicest, kindest, beloved, pleasant, etc.
  • No one seems to know its actual origins.
  • In accepting the Liebster Award, you agree to nominate other small bloggers.  Originally it was 3-5; however, I have found blogs written in the last several months specifying 11 others. Eleven! That’s quite a leap from 3-5! I wonder where that came from?
  • The older/original Liebster Awarded blogs only had to thank their nominator and pass the award nomination along. Nothing else was required.
  • Somewhere along the way in the last year or so, nominators also began requiring the new nominee to list 3 – 11 random things about themselves, answer 3 – 11 questions posed to them by the blogger that nominated them, choose 3 – 11 questions for their own nominees to answer, and pass the nomination along to 3 – 11 new small bloggers.

My nominator is in the 11 new nominations category. So now I find myself in a bit of a quandary. I think 11 is too many… it feels uncomfortably like a chain letter, and seems somehow less valuable. I am, however, comfortable nominating 3 – 5. That way it is more special. You have to really think about the 3 -5 people you want to nominate instead of trying to rack your brains coming up with 11.

I like the question & answer part. If the object is to introduce some of your favourite small bloggers then it makes sense to have them tell us a little bit about themselves.

So, I am thrilled to accept my Liebster Award in the spirit in which the tradition apparently began – which means that I am going back to the roots of the award and will nominate 3-5 small bloggers in turn (instead of 11). I hope this will safely satisfy the Liebster gods & goddesses. ♥

Here are the questions Liz asked me to answer:

  1. What made you start your blog? I had been teaching dance for several years and had a website for the dance school. One day a friend suggested I might like to try blogging about dance, so I gave it a try and loved it! Of course since then the blog has evolved waaaay past dance and into my life in general.
  2. What is your favorite dessert or sweet treat? The quickest way to my heart is through a slice (or three) of Rich, Dark, Moist, Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with lots of Icing! Especially if it comes from The Chocolate Claim. Oh, and my friend Dee makes a wicked-to-die-for trifle!
  3. What is your favorite beverage? Tea! Regular old-fashioned orange pekoe black tea with milk. Real milk, not cream. I drink it by the pot.
  4. What are your favorite and least favorite things about blogging? I like the creativity and I have always enjoyed writing. However, I have to remember to keep it in the realm of something fun because I like it, and not let it become a chore. That’s why I’m a “slow blogger”.
  5. If you could be an expert in one area, what would it be? Be as general or specific as you’d like! You mean besides the areas I already AM an expert in? I am an expert in a lot of areas, as we all are, and we should remind ourselves of that once in a while. However, if a genie came out of a bottle and granted me one wish, it would be that I could have a great set of pipes to belt out old standards with in-front-of my very own Big Band.
  6. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? I would transport my great-grand parents, Lucy and Chad Lane here from heaven. And my grandmother, June. And my great-aunt Doris. I have so many questions to ask them about their lives when they were young!
  7. Who do you look up to? People who are kind, thoughtful, logical, responsible, well-spoken, educated, creative and who are in charge of their own lives. Also people who can bake without eating it all.
  8. Who is your favorite author and/or what is your favorite book? When I was a child, my favourite author was Gertrude Chandler Warner and the Box Car Children series. It isn’t hard to close my eyes and put myself right back into my childhood bed, under the covers with one of her books. When I was a teenager, my favourite author was Tolkien and The Lord of the Ring series. More fuel for my inner storyteller. As an adult, I read everything I can get my hands on. I especially love novels that involve history.
  9. Where do you do your crafting? All over the house.
  10. How long have you been a crafter (quilter, knitter, etc)? All my adult life, in some form or another.
  11. What is your favorite color? Purple! No, Yellow. Hummm….probably green? No, must be blue. Actually, I lied. It’s orange. What day of the week is it? Turquoise day?

And now for my nominations!
 1. Fawn Fritzen: Fawn is a jazz singer & songwriter who makes her home in the historic city of Whitehorse, Yukon. She is currently recording her debut album, Bedroom Voice, to be released early in 2013.

2 A Geeky Crafty Life: my friend Dee is a girly-girl geek who loves to create things. Quilting, Knitting, Scrapbooking – computer gaming … she does it all. She loves the colour pink and lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

3. Went to Faro The Adventures of Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan in Faro,Yukon. I’ve never met Kara, but I read her blog and she is friends with my friends…so I sort of know her! She lives in Faro, Yukon.

4. Creative Women’s Business Coral started her own business a couple of years ago and blogs about it. I haven’t met her, but I’d like to. She writes a wonderful, insightful blog.

The Rules:
1. Nominate up to 5 other small blogs
2.Tell us 5 random things about yourself
3. Tell us 1)what qualities you most admire in a man, 2) what qualities you most admire in a woman, 3) what your ideal vacation would be, 4)what your favourite section of the library/bookstore is and 5)where you get your creative inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!

 

The Biggest Thing

Today  I’m linking up with Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary. She hosts Just Write, the goal being to write about what is happening around you, freely and without editing or censure, what you see, hear, feel, think. I’m nervous because I’m not a writer, and yet I’m linking to a writing blog. Go figure. And also, I didn’t exactly follow the rules – I didn’t write about things going on around me. I wrote about things going on inside of me. I guess these words just needed to come out.

2012 was a horrendous year for me. I broke down. Like an old car, or an old horse that has walked beyond its last step and can now only stand with head hanging low over the fence rail. Unable to move forward or back. I found myself hitched to a wagon, some rusty old thing with sticky brakes and loaded up with chunks of old concrete and rebar. That’s what it felt like. Depression. My body forgot how to dance.  My body and my brain forgot what it was to experience joy. I  remember watching the partly frozen river flowing by and wondering what it would be like to go under the ice. Cold at first. But then warm again.

That was exactly one year ago.

I couldn’t work and was granted a 6-week leave of absence. I saw a doctor. I saw a therapist. I got a diagnosis. I started taking citalopram. I started sharing my story on my blog. I asked my friends for help. I started to get better.

One year later, today, I consider myself recovered. Healed, but with scars that still ache once in a while. Like old bones that have been fractured but still occasionally twinge and complain even after they have closed. I am careful with myself. I am frightened of returning to that state. I am chary of becoming overwhelmed, and have been ginger about putting things on my plate. I’ve taken it slow. I started off by committing to sewing one quilt block a month on an on-line quilting bee. Then last term I enrolled in a course simply because I was interested in the subject, but I worried about my ability to juggle it all. A full-time job, a college course and a quilting commitment? Was I well enough? Would I break down again?  I was. And I didn’t! I successfully did it all – and enjoyed myself, too!  and so this term I have enrolled in another interesting course and have taken on a 2nd quilting commitment (two on-line quilting bees). Though I am nervous, I know it will be okay.

Recently, my body has remembered how to dance.

I haven’t done any formal practice, but not because I can’t…because I don’t feel like it. (Oh how I love being able to say that! I don’t do something “because I don’t feel like it”. How freeing! How empowering!)  Instead, I wiggle around the kitchen to whatever strikes me to move at the moment. I realize that I am still a dancer. Yes I am. Just because I’m not practicing at the moment doesn’t make me any less of a dancer. Any less a dance artist. And miracle of miracles…I am starting to miss teaching dance, too. Just because I’m not teaching at the moment doesn’t make me any less of a dance teacher!

Do I have a goal for next year? Are you kidding? The biggest thing I learned during my year of illness and recuperation is that my worth isn’t measured by how much I produce or how much I accomplish. I have intrinsic value. I matter.

What began as a curse has turned into a blessing.

 

Wednesday…again?

Well, I don’t have much to report on the quilting front. I made a couple of more stars for Nora’s quilt, and then I laid them all out and chose the 12 I like best.

I’ve actually made 24 blocks between experimenting with this and that. Enough already! I have enough star blocks for 2 very different quilts now. Anyway…I still can’t decide how to put them together…with sashing or not, and if with sashing, I can’t decide between white or blue. And then I thought maybe I’d add little pinwheels on the sashing strips at the corners between each block… Sigh…

Actually, there’s a lot going on between me and that quilt, and I may decide to set it aside and make something else for Nora while I sort it out. It is starting to represent my frustration and unhappiness with being unwell, and those aren’t the kind of feelings I want to wrap her up in.

So…what other work in progress? How about me?I’m definitely a work in progress here, although lately its starting to feel like progress in the wrong direction as I’m finding it harder and harder to maintain my equilibrium, especially at work.

This morning I attended the second of those courses I talked about a couple of weeks ago (a broken day and a pretty dress). I don’t know…they call it a course, but it’s starting to feel an awful lot like group therapy to me. And I DIDN’T sign up for group therapy. I feel like a fish out of water. I feel irritable and impatient and I don’t like feeling that way. When I am sitting in that classroom, I don’t know who I am. And I REALLY don’t like THAT! Anyway, I am going, and I am trying to do the exercises because I am one stubborn lady who is determined to try everything she can to get better and be well again.

I don’t know what being well is going to look like. I don’t want to be an overachiever like I was before. That wasn’t healthy and look where it got me. But I do want my sense of joy back. I don’t like being a prickly pear. Somewhere inside is that joyful woman you see on the banner of this website. I want her back.

After class I went to the office. My balance beam was pretty narrow, but I was doing okay. I was smiling. I worked on an important project that took all afternoon to complete, and I was feeling good about myself – competent and capable. and kind of the way I used to feel in my job a couple of years ago.

…and then everything went to hell, and anxiety & depression are having a party in my body, making my head hurt and my stomach roll.

So I am going to go to my regularly scheduled Pilates class and see if I can work some of my stress out of me and into the mat where it belongs. And if that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll take the dog out for a walk.

Here is your photo for the day: me in my former life, dancing in front of The Big Band. Wow, that seems like a long time ago, but was actually only last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it is WIP Wednesday, I’m linking up: