Angie's "Get Fit After 40" Blog and found this waiting there for me:
I've known Angie" for about 2 1/2 years now: we first met in person at
Richard Simmons Fall Retreat of 2006, and she has come a long way since then. She is a successful weight loss participant, and additionally her Blog readership is growing by leaps and bounds. I fully expect her to join the ranks of "Super Blogger" with the large number of daily hits to her column in the near future. It's easy to see why.
She talks about her weight loss efforts and the foibles she encounters along the way with a frankness and an open way that invites you into her world. Sure, she blogs about her down times too - that making her more likeable and approachable, but I admire her for not getting nearly as negative as I do at times. She has struck a balance between real life and blogging life that I aspire to. So that brings me back to this:
I'm flattered, Angie. I thought about not responding because I didn't quite know what to say. I'd never really considered that anyone would find my words inspiring, or that they would hit close to home. I thought, early on, that I might want to try for Super Blogger position myself (I don't have a life), but then I found out that I have way too much to do in many different forums, and my emotional path is rocky and extreme. I don't have time or the consistency in health for the consistant posting and commenting on other blogs to bring in an audience. I use my own forum sometimes to blow off steam, and I certainly wander in and out of different subects rather than keeping focused. But apparently, I must have touched Angie anyway.
What's funny is that when I write a blog post, it's not really about writing to the world. It's about amusing myself. I'm also amused and bemused when people I haven't seen in quite a while know everything that is going on in my life. When I am surprised and can't contain the feeling, they look at me cross-eyed and flatly state "Well I read your Blog." Duh.
I'm even more surprised when I receive comments from strangers. Where are they coming from? How did they find me? Where do they live, and why do they relate to what I say? I don't know, but apparently somebody finds me readable. Why? This forum is not like when I am writing articles for publication that are focused on a specific subject with a target audience.
But back to the award. I"ve decided to play. If Angie thinks I am good enough to receive it, I'm very honored. Like
Claudia always says, "Just shut up and say 'Thank You!' when somebody gives you a compliment!" One of the most profound pieces of advice I have ever received. So Angie, Thank you!
Now that I've gotten that out, there are some rules to receiving this award.
*** You need to tape it up on your blog somewhere.
*** You have to pass it along to 5 fellow super bloggers, and comment on their blog to let them know how lucky they are today!
*** When you present your Super Blogger awards, link back to the super blogger who gave it to you.
Choosing only 5 fellow super bloggers is impossible for me. I am going outside of the rule book and choosing six, because as you will see, one of my Super Blogger choices doesn't really have a blog although he has a very strong internet presence, and I don't have a chance of him responding to this award. But he is a very important person on line, in public, and in my life. More about that in a couple of minutes.
Choice # 1:
Robin Atkins at Beadlust
It's funny; I met Robin when she taught a Beaded Tassel class at the Association of Southern California Weavers Conference in Visialia, CA back in 2007. When I attend these conferences, I always take one "weird" class off subject. I believe in working outside of the box (in this case, of fiber arts) on a regular basis. I had no idea when I walked into her classroom, that she was going to make such a difference in my life. As she taught me skills in assembling beads, I had a profound sense that I had found what I was meant to do. That all of my crafting up to that moment was in preparation for becoming a bead artist. Based on my growing jewelry clintele, that feeling was not off base.
I was very ill the weekend that I attended that Conference. Rather than displaying my wit and humor and odd sense of perspective during class, I was quiet and non-descript. I'm sure that Robin doesn't really even remember my attendance and for good reason. But I know that she sometimes comes into my blog. And occasionally, I'm even honored by a comment.
Robin doesn't post on Beadlust nearly as often as I would like. But I check in with her regularly. Her work is always deeply personal, beautiful, and her words reach out and grab me.
Choice # 2: Annie Modesitt at Modeknit / Knitting Heretic
I've never met Annie in person, but of course as a knitter, am well aware of her amazing and beautiful designs and work. When I stumbled into her blog purely by accident, I found a woman who is dealing with life crisises similar to the ones that I face, and with a dignity and strength that astounds me. I read her regularly; have rarely commented on her Blog because the topics generally are too close to home for comfort, but rely on her perspective to know that I am not completely off base in dealing with my own life situation.
Choice # 3: Joe Ganci at Joe Ganci Gets a Blog
I'm honored to call Joe a friend. He's stayed at my home on a couple of occasions when he has passed through Los Angeles, and I hope that he comes back again soon. He is highly involved in Politics, the Italian American community, Family life... his posts about his visits to his Mother and Sister back in Italy are particularly fascinating. He also is a bit of a computer genius, and travels all over the country to lecture at conferences and symposiums.
He is what I like best in a writer; highly opinionated, but also quite willing to listen to - and hear - differing viewpoints. Sometimes he even changes his mind after considering them. Where in politics, this ability is called being a flip-flopper, in my world, it's called intelligent. Never close yourself off to the possibility that there are different ways of viewing the world, and sometimes the ones that we endorse are not the best way.
Choice # 4 - Stephanie Pearl-McFee at Yarn Harlot
A knitter and a writer about all things knitting and her life - which is drastically different than mine, I often find myself relating and chuckling at the same time. Last year when I was critically sick for a protracted period of time and could scarcely leave my bed, I would force myself up and out to find the latest updates about her stay at the cabin in the woods and her encounters with Bambi and Friends; alien deer. It was a story that could actually make me smile during a desperate time when smiling was way down on my list of priorities.
She also allowed me to witness the birth of a word: Kinnearing. That would be taking surreptious photographs (of celebrities) of people without their knowledge or permission. It's called Kinnearing because she first did it and blogged about it when she encountered Greg Kinnear in an airport. Yes, he knows about the term. He's talked about Stephanie on I-forgot-which-late-night-tv-program and the term. Even Greg Kinnear recognizes her as a super blogger.
Stephanie also inspired me to participate in a special task that she suggested. To get a politician or celebrity to hold a sock-in-progress that we were making; posting the picture on our own blog. In fact, that was an easy one for me. Richard Simmons is a very good sport, and held my sock post haste.
Choice # 5 - Kristen Nicholas of Getting Stitched On The Farm
Another choice of somebody who doesn't have a clue who I am. I'm not sure how I found Kristen's blog, but I adore it. She chronicals her life on a Sheep Farm in Western Massachusetts. This is a lifestye that I often fantasized about; aspired to. Life - and health - got in the way, and I know at this point that it will never happen for me. But it's ok. While I adore her stories and sit in my comfortable chair in the middle of Los Angeles, dreaming of inserting myself in the narrative, I know for absolute sure that the end of that dream is actually productive for me.
For you see, in reading her blog, I know that I unequivocally do not have the backbone for it. Even if I had the health and the financial where-with-all, no way. I could never deal with parting of the lambs, markets, rampaging rams, etc. That's a part of the business. I'm better off living vicariously through Kristen.
I also have to tell you an amusing story about her. I read her blog for months, not knowing at all that she is a very famous Knitting Designer. I was rummaging through her links one day, though, and found a whole bunch of her patterns from very prestigeous magazines. "Oh My Gawd!" I screamed. I made that one! And that one and that one and that one and that one...
Now for my special one: Choice # 6 - Richard Simmons.
To know me is to know what a profound impact this man has had on my life. He writes a daily column in his web site, and while a lot of the site is restricted to paying members (at a nominal charge), his daily message is available for free. I know that he writes these messages himself. Not only has he said so at Slimmons, his Exercise Studio in Beverly Hills, but as I read the various stories, I know many of the people and events that he drew inspiration from.
Richard evokes a strong response from everyone I have ever met. Most love him; some can't stand him. I would submit that those who are not fans of him only know of his TV Persona which can be, shall we say, effervescent? I know him to be a very serious and passionate man, willing to do whatever it takes to help people in crisis. Including being publicly silly and having people take potshots for it.
I also know him to be one of the most patient and kind men I've ever met. He has suffered with me for six-and-a-half long years at his exercise studio. He oversaw me when I was a very angry and morbidly obese woman. He has overseen me during times of critical illness when it was questionable whether I was even going to live. He has suffered the consequences of my anger, my inability to face who I was and later the difficulty of the transition to who I am now. He also continues to suffer the effects of my health.
Where nobody ekse in their right mind would allow me into an exercise studio with the kind of continuing medical "events" that I have, he embraces me. Where nobody else in their right mind would have responded with patience and kindness at some of the horrible misperceptions I communicated to him over the years (mostly through e-mail), he responded with kindness.
He is at an odd place in my life. I adore him and would likely do pretty-much anything he asked of me. He knows much of what I deal with. He is an incredibly good friend who is also a mentor and role model. (Oh yes, I wonder how much he had to do with me unconsciously becoming the queen of bling? I wonder why I like Swarovski Crystals so much?) By the same token, he is not family, therefore I don't generally let him know in advance of dangerous medical situations or pharmeceutical treatments that chemically influence how I percieve the world and react to input. The trouble with that is he is close enough to advise me, and he always runs the risk of an adverse reaction out of me where none is warranted.
Richard Simmons is a brave, kind, and forgiving man.
And now for two Honorable Mentions: Trish Anderson of Tanglewood Fiber Creations and Janel Laidman of The Beebonet Report. I knew both of these women when they were extremely talented and relatively unknown members of the Fiber Community. I know them now when they are both ascending their thrones as royalty in the same. I'm honored to call both of them friends.
And now with all of these shout-outs to send notification to, I will close by making Claudia happy one more time. Angie, THANK YOU for the award, the recognition, and for being my friend. I'm honored on all accounts.