Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moi? "Versatile Blogger Award?" Thanks!

Woot! I don't remember the last time I won an award. Maybe it was in the fourth grade when I found the most words within the word "SILENCE." Thanks to Holly at a Life-Size Catholic Blog, I have won a "Versatile Blogger Award."

Sure, I'm "versatile." Other words for that trait are: eclectic and unfocused. I have many interests and I don't like to be tied down to say, a favorite movie, a favorite writer, or a favorite vacation spot. Now, as part of this award; I have to tell you seven facts about me. (Then, I have to share 15 websites and blogs I love).

Gee, I just told you 10 facts about me. How much more do you need/want to know?
Here goes.

7 random facts about me

My favorite exercises are walking and swimming.

My laugh is so distinctive that friends who are in the same movie theater with me know I am there just from my laugh.

My husband is the best friend I ever have had. Hands down.

I keep thinking I am going to be a vegetable gardener. The latest delay is figuring out how to keep the woodchucks away.

People think I have a good sense of humor. Really, I just say funny things without realizing it. Like the other day in the teachers' lounge I told a math teacher friend "Me and math? I took as few courses as I could and then I was like "don't let the door hit you on the way out." She laughed so hard. I was being serious.

Just as I don't plan to say funny things, I can't plan to write funny things. I think in my writing I come across as a lot more serious than I am in real life.

My default facial expression is a smile. This is because at my very first newspaper job out of graduate school, a supervisor told me I always look angry because I scowl. I told him that was a sexist comment since while I was supposedly scowling on deadline, the young men reporters were hosting fist fights in the men's room. Still, his comment made me self-conscious. Since then, I making a point of smiling unless I have a reason not to.

I have been spelunking. Twice. In Indiana. This was during my mid20s, when I said I would try anything once, as long as it was legal and didn't go against my sense of right and wrong. Not sure why I spelunked twice though!

And now...five blogs I want to share with you.

Witness by Webster. (Gosh, this sounds like an Oscar nomination) Webster is the man who brought me into the blogging world and who introduced me to Communion and Liberation, the ecclesiastical movement of which I am a part. I love his musings about culture, Catholicism and Christ. We have met a few times in real life at CL events and he is taller than I thought but just as hippy/preppy as I imagined.

Crooked Lines by Karen. She and I have a lot in common. It seems whenever I am thinking about something, she is too. And vice versa. She lives in the Midwest and I live in New Jersey but we both work as special education teachers, with all the challenges and joys that calling brings.

Finding Grace Within by Shannon. (Pictured at left) I discovered this blog when I was writing for Why I Am Catholic. Shannon is a prison chaplain in Tacoma, Washington Her stories and her perspective are fascinating to me and offer a perspective on her corner of the world.
Hand Me Down Heaven by Julie. Hers is one of the very first Catholic blogs I discovered. I have talked with Julie over the phone from her store in Nashville, where she sells Christian books and writes some of her own too. She is the mother of six children and just a great all-round person. Check her out!

House Unseen Life Unscripted by Dwija. She is zany and such a risk taker I can only look on in awe. She and her husband are the parents of four and counting children and moved from California to Michigan to a house they bought over the internet. Hilarity and insanity ensue daily.

Here are some websites I regularly visit.

1. Does your family take a lot of road trips? Check out Roadside America a guide to "uniquely odd tourist attractions." You can even read my review of the Darlington, SC Stockcar Hall of Fame.

2. Check out the  Oratorians ,who run our parish and oversee the Rutgers University Catholic Center. These guys are great.

3. Do you like historic fiction? Visit my mom's website; she's written a thriller called The Bacchus Claim about the art theft in Italy during World War II.

4. Do you like poetry? Paul Muldoon is a dear family friend and won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. You can find out more about him here.

5. If you've been reading my blog for a while you might know I am involved in Communion and Liberation, an ecclesiastical movement within the Catholic Church. I regularly look for updates at

6. I've been buying hats from a young lady down the block who started a home business. She's facing a puzzling array of health issues and the knitting and crocheting are a positive outlet.

7. Speaking of shopping, Sarah Harkins makes wonderful clay rosaries. Do you know her work?

8. I love Susan Branch. She has so many easy, cozy ideas for keeping a home.

9. Within walking distance of our home is a theater with world-class actors. How blessed we are with the George Street Playhouse!

10. OK. Now I am going to cheat on this requirement to offer 15 blogs and websites I love. What are your favorites and why? Please answer in the comment box!

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