And The Beautiful Blogger Award Goes To . . .


Sandy’s opening gusts on Long Island.

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!”

The chilly tropical air snuck up on this bee, still sleeping on a bed of Gaillardia pollen.

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!

45 thoughts on “And The Beautiful Blogger Award Goes To . . .

  1. What a wonderful job you have done as you have responded to your nomination. I appreciate the lovely words you have stated about me and my posts. I will be checking out your nominees post and Best of Luck riding Sandy out. It is a dangerous storm, so please stay safe and warm. 🙂

      • I’m sitting on Long Island — playing the waiting game, while trying stay calm as I listen to the anxiety-producing news coverage. It’s very strange because it’s cool outside, not warm and tropical. The biggest worry is severe flooding along the coast and trees bringing down power lines. Normally, these hurricanes speed through the northeast — but Sandy is moving slowly and will linger over the region. Should be quite the ride.

  2. Thank you so much for the award and congrats to you! Stay safe!! You’re in my thoughts. I love that you’re in a bag pipe band and that you love show tunes. Be yourself. Everyone else is taken! Chicago was the first Broadway show my daughter (17) saw. She was completely captivated. The soundtrack is a favorite at our house. 🙂

  3. I look forward to digging into (no pun intended, OK, maybe not . . .) the blogs you listed, and am grateful for having been included in the list! Nothing is better than belting out a good show tune from behind the wheel — Les Mis is one of my favorites, as well! ~ Kat

    • Hi Kat. I’m glad I had the chance to put you on the list — and as for Les Miz, I cry each time I hear “On My Own.” By the way, the film version will be released in December! 🙂

    • Hi Deb. So far, I’m waiting and waiting. I’m not in a flood zone, but strong winds might pose a problem. I’ll do my best to keep readers posted — power permitting.

  4. I have many friends on the east coast and I’m so concerned. I have never been anywhere near a storm of this potential magnitude. I hope you and Joe will not be too affected, and certainly no property damage.

    What a nice list of blogs. And I’m with you about show tunes. I have a counter to Les MIs (movie) on my blog side bar. I’m quite excited!

  5. As I sit here reading with the strong winds outside i am surprised and honored to be included in the nominations…im not sure what it means or what Im supposed to do…hopefully someone will explain!…thanks again so much….

  6. Pingback: So Many Beautiful, Lovely Blogs | Travel. Garden. Eat.

  7. Thank you for your beautiful words you share with us . I am excited to check out your favorite bloggers. I have really enjoyed moving from my garden in Moreland Hills, Ohio to the gardens expressed so eloquently through words of imagination.
    Thank you ~ Stacy

  8. Hey Kevin! I am so worried for this hurricane of yours, I watched something on tv and it freightened me! I don’t understand how you (Americans) could react so calmly but quickly to this kind of things… Maybe you’re just used to it. I hope your garden won’t be too damaged by Sandy and if so… Well you’ll have plenty of time to drop a list of new plants to fit in! 😉

    • Alberto!! I like your thinking. I know right now that I will be tree shopping — we lost a good piece off of a large evergreen that was planted in 1966. Any ideas?

  9. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about while driving…red light runners, mascara applications, shaving, (yes, I did see this), cell chatters, and NOW I have to be on the look out for jazz handers!!! 🙂

    I sure do wish I had known about those Zombie Gnomes before I settled upon my Halloween costume. What a great sense of humor that blogger has. Thanks for the links. Sandy is picking up now. Be safe.

  10. Pingback: Blogger Awards | Her Way at Crabtree Gardens

  11. Pingback: Nitty Gritty Dirt Man « GiRRL_Earth

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