Today is far from a beautiful day. Sandy is on her way, and Joe and I have packed up the yard and we’re now inside watching fall actually fall. Autumn foliage is falling like confetti now, as the first gusts of wind make their way to Long Island. Flocks of birds are racing for cover; squirrels are gathering their provisions. Even the air feels strange. Sandy is a tropical system, but the air is chilled, as the tropics crash into a cold front.
And that’s why I find it so ironic that I’m creating a post about beautiful things. I can think of so many things that are beautiful. Sunsets. Rainbows. Dahlias. Maybe even waves of blowing leaves on a gusty day. But something with the words “nitty” and “gritty” and “dirt?” No way.
When I received a comment from danajoward announcing that she nominated this site for the Beautiful Blogger Award, I – well – I couldn’t be more surprised and honored.
So, thank you, danajoward, for the compliment and recognition. If you have never visited her blog, you are missing the work of someone who is always up for a challenge. Her site is filled with her photography and writings, each of which satisfies an assortment of creative blog challenges – and each post provides a peek into her creative mind. Well done.
Speaking of peeking, I now have to reveal seven random facts about myself – although I’m not sure some of these actually qualify as beautiful.
1. I love to read, and I only wish I had more time to indulge. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction. Among my favorite authors are Edward Rutherfurd, Margaret George, Ken Follett, and Diana Gabaldon – although I did lose interest in her Outlander series after the characters left Scotland for America.
2. I also enjoy reading dystopian fiction. Among my favorite reads are 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Anthem, and Atlas Shrugged.
3. I am severely allergic to penicillin. Hives, swelling, and closing throat — clearly not beautiful!
4. I’m a member of a bagpipe band, and this past summer we participated in several competitions. It was my first time competing as a piper – and we placed 7th in the first competition and 3rd in another competition.
5. In my early 40s, I was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease after I failed a stress test and suffered a very mild heart attack. I now have 13 stents helping to keep my coronary arteries open.
6. I love board games. As a kid, Monopoly was always a favorite until my younger sister figured out that Boardwalk and Park Place were two properties worth buying. I then switched over to Risk.
7. Finally, what would life be like without some show tunes? I admit that some mornings, when I’m driving alone, I’ll crank up the Broadway playlist and put on an all-out floorshow. Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Chicago – I know I can’t drive and text, but there aren’t any laws about not doing “The Cell Block Tango” while behind the wheel. By the way, I can hear your thoughts, “This is as gay as gay can be.” Sometimes you just have to sing, “Life is a cabaret, old chum. Only a cabaret, old chum. And I love a cabaret!”
Now for the fun part – my 15 beautiful nominations. There are so many blogs that should be part of this list, but I thought I would concentrate on some newly found treasures.
1. GiRRL_Earth: Meeting a kindred spirit in the blogging world is a beautiful thing. That’s how I feel about this blog and blogger, one who shares the same tastes in music, movies, viewpoints . . . Her site has morphed from a strictly gardening type to something so much more personal.
2. Casa Mariposa: One beautiful garden plus one beautiful life philosophy plus countless beautiful photos equals one beautiful blog.
3. The British Gardener: The man behind the blog is a Brit living in Virginia – so he not only brings his English gardening sensibilities stateside, but also his sense of humor. By all means, please visit one of his most recent posts on a newly issued warning about zombie gnomes. LOL material!
4. Travel Garden Eat: With three of my favorite activities in the title, how could I not find this blog beautiful?
5. Gardens at Waters East: Here is a garden blog with a beautiful view: Lake Michigan.
6. Crabtree Gardens: It’s difficult to pin this blog in a category. On the one hand, it’s about a garden and a gardener, but when the gardener also owns an English-inspired B&B and a 5-acre naturalized garden – well . . . Let’s just say it’s beautiful.
7. The Lazy Woman’s Garden: The photo on the landing page of this blog will win you over – the gardener’s view of her garden as she lounges on her hammock in central Florida.
8. Bodhisattvaintraning: I am completely captivated by the free-flow of thoughts in this blog. It’s random, it’s emotional, it’s sharing – so much.
9. Pattu’s Terrace Garden: This blog has literally opened up the world for me. Based in India, it’s about one woman’s passion for her terrace garden – amazing what she is able to grow in pots.
10. The Heartbeat Girl: In my previous life, the writer of this blog and I worked together. Time moved us in different directions and we lost contact – until recently. That’s when we learned that we are both blogging. Her writing is honest, sentimental, tender, and always warm.
11. The Gift of Travel: The woman behind this blog has been literally under my nose for years. We just didn’t know that each one of us had started blogging. By chance, we came out of the blogging closet to one another. I’m completely enjoying watching her blog be born.
12. The Cheapskate Urban Gardener: How can I not find beauty in a title with the word cheapskate? Besides, the blogger might be economical, but his results are rich.
13. African Violet Ramblings: A gorgeous blog that is a tribute to a beautiful plant, everything from propagation to care.
14. Journey with Julia: Every so often, a blog enters your life and each post carries you deeper and deeper. This is one such blog: honest and open and courageous as Julia shares her life’s journey.
15. Any of the blogs listed under “Garden Blogs I Like.” This might be cheating but there’s just too much beauty out there to fit in a list of fifteen.
Again, many thanks to danajoward.
Happy gardening — and if you’re in the path of Sandy, stay safe!