Award Score!

So, OMG I won an award. A blog award. Not one of those stupid "thanks for showing up and breathing" participation award ribbons they handed out when I was in grade school and stunk up track and field day with my two left feet and basic aversion to sweat or anything approximating physical activity.

I have always been "oh AWARDS don't move me. I just don't need the false validation of TROPHIES." Turns out I am a lying sack of WRONG. I love awards. Love. Them. Especially green ones.

Special thanks to Leontien of Four Leaf Clover Tales  Poor thing had the misfortune to be present and very much accounted for during my first ever public speaking engagement. I basically zeroed in on her, made eye contact, and directed my entire presentation to her. She's been a wonderful blog friend ever since.

Despite my ETA (below) I am not necessarily going to wait until after the holiday weekend to pay these forward and pass it on because, as it turns, out I'm COLORFUL and UNPREDICTABLE and you just never know what hijinks I may get up to. I have also had coffee and it's 6:00 a.m. so my faculties are now fully engaged! I wish I could pass this along 1700 times (give or take) because that's about how many fabulous bloggers make my life interesting, entertained, and more informed every single day as I cruise the information superhighway (probably looking for a good yard sale).

Tastefully Done. This is one of the first food blogs that didn't make feel embarrassed to admit what I cook.  She's a much better chef than anyone I personally know, but never snotty about it. It's nice to see how the other half lives. This would be the half trying desperately to wean the Buckeye state off Miracle Whip and Jell-O.

Mitch's Dirty Socks This young, male blogger is not only hysterical but embodies a rare and somewhat untapped blog voice. The rare teen who can actually communicate in greater than 140 word increments as determined per Twitter, Texting, and Facebook. Bonus points are awarded him for never replacing "you" with "u."

The Run Around Ranch Report. Evocative (and educational!) writing style coupled with gorgeous photos = sublime experience for this rural reader who enjoys knowing how the "real" ranchers live (as it turns out, my 3 goats don't count).

Being an award novice I am unsure what I'm supposed to do after the lamest acceptance speech ever (^see above^).

So once again I'll just make blog-eye-contact with Leontien and do what she does.

 Seven things you might not know about me:

1. I am a published writer with my work appearing weekly in actual printed media, on PAPER even.  I am also old enough to think that still matters. My grandma seems impressed.

2. I can only fall asleep flat on my back with my arms straight at my side. I look dead. Very sexy.

3. I am not afraid of public speaking, but do hate people to ask me what I'm reading. I become irrationally pi#$ed if I have to try and synopsize and explain whatever book I am engrossed in. It makes no sense but trust me, Don't Ask!

4. I refuse to ever cut my hair short just because I've reached "a certain age." I intend to go down swinging (a ponytail) in the fight against aging, thankyouverymuch.

5. I'll scrub my own toilets without complaint but I hate gardening, weeding, and anything to do with the same with a passion that burns. If you could vanquish weeds with a death stare and pure venom, I'd be done in minutes. I dearly wish I could just pay a team to make my garden look "Better Homes" and less "possibly abandoned, probably haunted."

6. I love fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grain and lean meats. Using this analogy I should be very thin. I also love sugar with a passion that burns (but alas not fat), so I'm not.

7. I take so many photos that my children believe they are famous, and possibly being stalked by the paparazzi (but most people probably know that already).

ETA: I will be passing this on to three other bloggers but as we are packing to leave for the holiday weekend, I'm going to hold off until after when I can give it the focus it deserves. Thanks!  <- Ignore. Had coffee. Got 'er done!

Weekly Read | The Graduate

*"Weekly Read" Posts are links to my published column. The text you see (below) is only an excerpt of the entire column and photos shown are generally stock photos. Thanks! 

She is the daughter of my very best friend, and when I opened her high school graduation announcement last week I was a bit taken aback. Since when do they let toddlers graduate? ... (THIS IS ONLY PART OF THE TEXT. Finish Reading the Complete Text of this Column via the Publisher's Website

Weekly Read | Land Barons

I think we went into the landlord biz primarily because all the similar investment opportunities that involved poking yourself with a sharp object and/or setting fire to your money seemed like more work ... [CONTINUE READING THIS AWESOME COLUMN AT F&D.COM]

Chow Hound

Matt graciously offered to make Mother's Day Dinner last Sunday.

He prefers to cook "camp style" so outdoors with a big cast iron pot he went.

Jagger grew increasingly impatient with the endless wait for "done." 
A watch dogged pot never boils, indeed

Smoke gets in his eyes, but never will he relinquish his "chow hound" post

Someday, his dish will come.
Every dog has his day - and a moment when someone is going to leave that pot of bacon and sausage unattended for one quick minute ...

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First, let me state for the record that no dogs were harmed in the making of this column, though not for lack of trying.

Read More at Farm and Dairy

If Lovin' To Save Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right Part II

If it’s possible to be addicted to saving then I’ve got the bug — bad. There is just something so satisfying about not spending money. Some count their winnings through gambling. I get high saving. No slots player pulling a lever ever got bigger thrills than I do when they start subtracting my coupon savings from a grocery order. I am that woman with the fistful of coupons, convinced that if I pay more than a dime for toilet paper ... (Continued) Read the rest of this column at the F&D Publisher's Site