Very Inspiring Blogger Award – The art of giving & receiving

very-inspiring-blogger-award I am humbled to have been noticed and appreciated with this award and I thank Helen for taking the time to notice my blog.  My blog is in it’s infancy and as such I don’t think there is enough content to be worthy of any sort of an award but in the spirit of learning and growing I realise that there is more to receiving an award than the receipt of it.  There are rules that go along with the receipt of this and most awards.  In other words, it’s not enough to say thanks, post the award and move on!  No! The fact is that this award like others I have seen, requires action.  I have to admit, my first inclination was to politely decline the award.  That would have been much easier….

The fact is, there are benefits for choosing to accept the award just as there are benefits to nominating someone else for the award.  Namely, traffic!  Now really, I don’t want to think my objective in having a blog is dependent on who sees it or how many hits the blog gets.  Ultimately this blog is written for me. I would like to write more and to be a better writer.  I have discovered that growing and learning doesn’t occur in a vacuum and as such, reading what other people write, and admiring and appreciating others content, character, stories and styles are all a part of the process in my own growth.  So again thank you Helen for challenging me to respond to this award.

Once nominated, there are some rules to follow:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.  checkmark

2. List the rules and display the award.  checkmark

3. Share seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate (15) other  amazing blogs and comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them.


Seven facts about me:

1.) I believe and try my best to practice the Golden Rule – the Ethic of Reciprocity

2.) I have a BA degree in Religion and almost a minor in Graphic Design

3.) I call Grenada, West Indies my home though I live in the San Francisco bay area.

4.) I lived in Dallas, Tx for about 10 years, and I even liked it, in spite of the heat.

5.) I love dogs, especially my dogs, maybe a little more than humans.

6.) I love speed! Not the drug but the feeling of -Windsurfing, sailing, hopefully someday Kiteboarding.

7.)  I am a Navy Veteran (Aviation Electronics Technician)


Ok now for the 15 blogs i am nominating to receive this award.  There is no particular order.  they are all blogs I have been enjoying reading and appreciating for a variety of reasons.  Hopefully this post helps increase traffic to their sites and inspires others to continue growing and learning in our blogging adventures.

1.) bobbyshabangu – Bobby is a South African who writes from his heart and really makes you think!  Please do take a look at what he has to say.  His tagline “Things that are close to my heart are history, visual arts, language, heritage, culture, music and politics.”

2.) Memeesmusings – She has a  wide variety of subjects and a lot to learn from at least for me and hopefully others will find her blog fun and inspiring.  Her tagline is:  “Thoughts about life, death and the world around me.”

3. Flymetotheclouds – her tag line says it all!  “The best project you will ever work on is you”.  Lara states in her ‘about’ page that wants to write about things she is passionate about – she does just that and does it well!

4.) A Simple Life Afloat – Leslie writes about her life afloat and I can relate because I live on my boat and would like to write more about my experience of the last 15 years.  Leslie’s blog is brilliant and she seems to write most every day!  I aspire to do just that and though I’ve only just discovered her blog I hope to read more of it in the days and weeks to come.

5.) Jasonpreu – Jason seems to have a vast array of subjects and styles and interests not to mention his ability to express himself through words including poetry.  Do take a moment to explore his blog and beyond- there are a lot of links to his other works within his blog!!  Check it out 🙂

6.) Susieshy45 – She claims to be shy but her writing and outreach is anything but shy.  She was one of the first to reach out to me and to encourage me and she has been a real encouragement and inspiration.  her tagline, “Young writer on a learning mission”.

7.) TheAcornsSmallHolding – Roz has a beautiful website.  it is well designed and well thought out with beautiful pictures.  The website is all about camping off the grid in some of the most beautiful Caravans, Wagons, and Huts as well as Campsites all in Ellesmere, Shropshire, UK.  Really worth checking the website out.

8.) TheExceptionalEveryday – Jeanne’s blog is a journey and a well-written one at that.  Her posts range from poetry to storytelling – she states, “I like to tell the story of the rest of us” and her tag line is “The ordinary is magic”.  Tell me, don’t both of those lines just make you want to read more?

9.) Homemade Naturally – Donna’s creativity includes DIY ideas that seem to cover a whole of categories.  Her writing is equally creative and includes poetry and other writings that cover a number of topics as well.  She has some great photographs on the site as well.  Definitely worth a look.

10) Life of Janine – the url of her website is actually ‘WhatBringsJoy.wordpress’ and this is exactly what her blog epitomizes.  From beautiful pictures to a beautiful way with words and ideas Janine’s blog is the beginnings of great journey.  Her tagline is ‘stumbling but never falling’.  I think this is a great tagline not to mention an about page that is definitely worth a look-see!

11.) TheMischiefMemoirs – Creativity abounds on this blogs.  Excellent poetry and drawings that really seem to complement and compliment one another.  I’ve only just discovered this blog but am already fascinated and enjoying it.

12.) Steve-Says – Steve’s tagline says it all :  “Randomness sprinkled with awesomeness”.  Cleverness in presentation and writing is all over the place in this blog not to mention the great pictures and just overall excellence.   If you like music be sure to check out Steve’s link to his music blog too!

13.) Lekhamisra – Her blog is full of inspiration and joy with quotes in her profile that are well worth putting into everyday practice.  Beautiful writing and a WordPress theme that fits perfectly.

14.) DearJalen –“A Blogumentary: Letters from a Mother to her Child”.  A great idea for the blog of a parent. Jalen is the daughter and the blog is all about her mother documenting different things in her life as reminders to her daughter for them both to read later and/or now.  A really heartfelt blog with a very personal touch.

15.) YearOfAwesomeYou – One of the most inspiring things about this blog is the fact that Christine writes everyday and actually has something worthwhile to say everyday.  She has four catgories she focuses on I’ll let you discover them for yourself.  Just read the ‘backstory’ -and you will be inspired.  I have a feeling Christine will make her goal outlined in her tagline – “365 days of living in awesomeness”.

There are so many more blogs I enjoy, but alas I had to narrow it down to 15. What are your favourite blogs?  feel free to comment and share some of your favourites.

Community lost without swift response (Daily prompt use it or lose it)

Use It or Lose It

Communities are seeming like a lost art in the hustle and bustle of daily life in this ‘civilised world’.

How civilised are we if we don’t know our neighbours. Do you know yours?

We need one another all the time but sometimes it is only in an emergency when we truly feel and recognise the neighbourly love and care that could be felt every day.

harbor_ovrlkI’m grateful to live in a close nit community where we do know and care about one another on a daily basis. We have no security here, no emergency services within close reach. We do have one another and the care and compassion and challenges of this knowledge.

Use it or lose it is the subject of this daily prompt and I for one find that it relates to using or losing our sense of community. Love is meant to be shared and if we don’t use and express the love and caring for our neighbours and neighbourhood before you know it though we have people living next door we have lost our real neighbours and community.

It was a quiet night. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was at my computer working on some sort of mindless project or perhaps a mindful project… then I thought I heard the distinct sound of two cats at each others throats wailing their dominance. It was high pitched and brief but enough of a commotion in our quiet harbour community for me to go to my door and look out and listen … nothing. Nothing at all. My neighbour Ike in his boat berthed next to mine looked out at the same time and we commented that we had heard this commotion and then went back to our respective activities.

308266850_2404aab0e7_oWithin moments -we both heard it again. My view faced my neighbour, Ike so I was looking at one half of the harbour and his view looked the opposite way towards me and faced the other half of the harbour. This time the high pitched call remained long enough for us to hear it while we had our heads outside. Ike’s view suddenly brought perspective. He could see a few docks over and saw the flames erupting into the air as one of our neighbours floating homes was clearly on fire.

Ike yelled to me fire and we both immediately dropped what we were doing and raced out of our boats and over to the dock where the flames were engulfing the floating home. Seems at least 10 of us in the harbour had risen to the occasion and we were all scrambling to hook up hoses and get in position to battle the fire down. The emergency services had been called and were on their way but we are in a remote area and know that our first defense was in one another. I think we all felt the sense of emergency and the very real urgency. Wooden boats and docks are no match for an out of control fire so we could not let this fire get out of control.

I don’t think I ever really felt that we might never come back form this if not handled professionally and swiftly.  Somehow we are survivors out here so that frame of thought isn’t in the cards!

The fire had been started by a chimney fire and the residents of the house hadn’t even realised they were on fire till all the commotion began. They were still inside trying to round up their animals. My neighbour, Ike, had grabbed a few fire extinguishers from the dock and was inside the house dousing the flames at the source. Meanwhile our harbour master and owner Eric, had climbed up on the roof of the house and we had passed hoses to him so he could get the fire out from outside and keep it from spreading. With the team work on hand the fire was extinguished within probably 20 minutes though I think for all of us it felt more like a couple of hours.

firefighters2The fire department showed up in a timely manner considering our location and took over with the investigation and ensuring no further sparks etc. The fire department was there for a couple of hours probably but there were no more flames to extinguish and all was safe now.

The events related are true and took place about 12 years ago .. in 2002 or 2003

Blogging with pictures – puppy of course!

Today’s assignment to try a different posting style… so though I’ve used pictures in my posts before I thought I would show a story via pictures in this blog.  Of course the web can’t read pictures so I’ll just say this picture story will show the pup Zulu (catahoula breed) from 8 wks to now 3yrs from mangy, scrawny pup to handsome companion for his older (non-related by blood anyhow) sister (Sky -Australian Shepherd).





Both Zulu and Sky are rescue dogs.  Zulu the Catahoula was adopted from the Jefferson County animal shelter in Mardas, Oregon.  Sky, the Aussie was a year old when she was adopted from the Milo Foundation in California.

Clones have rights too!!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.”
If you could clone yourself,  how would you split up your responsibilities?

How would I split them up?  Really -the question is how to get out of being a clone and have some rights!!

As Bonny’s clone I am seriously hoping that this forum will find other clones in a similar dilemma as myself.  I am tasked with doing all the things Bonny doesn’t want to do.  When there is a wedding I have to go and make the appearance and as Bonny’s clone I can tell you I don’t like weddings or clonesfunerals any more than she does so why am I stuck doing these obligatory appearances.  Parties, crowds aren’t my thing either but guess what? Clones have no rights and I for one would like to stand up and be acknowledged as a real person and not a clone.  The problem is clones are without rights at all because everyone assumes they are talking with the real Bonny.  I want to shout out and tell them it’s all essentially just a joke and Bonny would never go out to a ballgame or a people infested event.

The thing is all of you know this!  You act surprised to see me so you know I shouldn’t be here in the middle of your crowd so certainly you wouldn’t miss me if I didn’t come.  How many years has the real Bonny avoided the family gatherings but I dread that I will be expected to go at the next planned event simply to make Bonny look good.

I know my words are in vain but if there is some other clone stuck with writing this task maybe we can band together and somehow be recognised as more than clones!  Maybe we can become the original and switch places!!

Clones have rights too!!


Time to see the glass ‘half-full’ not ‘half-empty’

Is the glass half full -or half-empty?  Are people generally good -or bad? …

img_half_full_glass_2I like to think people are honest, and by nature, good.  I’ve certainly had my share of experiences that could jade that outlook but have found that my own state of thought is in a much better place if I stick to my conviction that people are generally and genuinely good.

One of my neighbours (I’ll call him Dan) is one of those truly good people.   You can ask him for help or for a favour and not once does he ask why or bat an eye.  He is always willing and able to help. Unfortunately, Dan seems to have allowed life to cloud his outlook to some degree. He seems suspicious of strangers and at times even willing to think the worst of his own neighbour(s) ! A rather humourous example of this took place over the last few days.

I’ll try and keep this short but will there are several parts to the story.  One of my other neighbours, ‘Gary’, was cleaning out his liquor closet and offered ‘Dan’ the remnants of a bottle of vodka.  Dan took it gratefully but decided he didn’t like the taste and set it aside.  Shortly thereafter another neighbour happened by, and in the spirit of camaraderie Dan offered the vodka to to this other neighbour, ‘Sabrina’.  She added it her glass of juice and didn’t consume more than maybe a glass or so when she started to sense that something wasn’t quite right with the taste.  After commenting on the taste, both Dan and Sabrina decided to smell the alcohol, and decided that it smelled nothing like vodka!


Dan could only think the worst at this point.  He became convinced that his neighbour, Gary must have intended death by poisoning for Dan and as fate would have it, the deadly poison was given to an unintended, poor Sabrina.  He told Sabrina of his fear and she instantly fell prey to Dan’s conviction of ill-intent by Gary.  Sabrina rushed to confront Gary, angrily demanding with fist raised, that he come clean and tell them what toxin he was passing off as Vodka.   He swore that it was nothing more than Vodka which he had received from someone else over 10 years ago.

Dan found himself consumed with his conviction that his neighbour Gary must have wanted too poison him.

I was introduced to the whole story with Dan calling out to me and wanting me to smell the liquid in the vodka container.  I have to admit it was the worst vodka I had ever smelled but I can’t say that I am an expert.  After my obligatory smell of the vodka, Dan promptly informed me that Gary was trying to kill him, and instead, Sabrina had drunk the poison and was off to the emergency room.  Dan then qualified his statement and apprehensions, as if trying to convince himself otherwise, ‘well if he had wanted to kill me this would have been a stupid way to go about it’ … ‘everyone would know’.

I have to admit, I could not resist adding to Dan’s apprehensions.  I know Gary perfectly well and know him to be an honourable person who just wants to get along with everyone and is meticulously neat and well-organized.  He would never do something to spite another person let alone even consider poisoning even his worst enemy let alone a neighbour like Dan who is so harmless and nice.

I also know Dan’s proclivity to thinks the absolute worst.  My comeback to Dan, was perhaps mean in light of his fears, but I could not resist, I must admit.

I told Dan that, if in fact his theory were true, regarding Gary’s intent was to poison him then it was an absolutely brilliant plan and not stupid at all.  “Just think about it Dan” – “Gary gave the vodka to you with the complete anticipation that you would drink it all yourself and not share it with a soul”.  “We all know you partake of a few drinks in the late afternoon and evening so what better way to off you than to give it to you”.  “Gary could only anticipate that you would disappear into your boat for an evening of spirits.  The catch is, had the plan come to fruition, you would never emerge again!”  “It really was the perfect plan Dan!  Gary couldn’t possibly have anticipated that you would share it with anyone at all -so it was a plan devised just for you!!”

I then spent the next few minutesimg_half_full_glass_4 reminding Dan that Gary really was not a bad guy and no ill had ever been intended for Dan or anyone else.

Unfortunately, Gary’s intent to be a generous neighbour was not successful in this instance.  Dan did agree that it was not in Gary’s nature or intent to do ill to anyone and life has resumed as normal as normal can be in this quaint community.

As for Sabrina, her trip to the emergency room seemed more based on the fear planted by Dan’s assumptions and they could find nothing wrong with her or the sample of vodka she had brought with her to the hospital.  She was released within an hour of admission and is alive and well to this day.

Ahhh ..the power the imagination if allowed to run rampantly loose!!!


Inspirational neighbours laying the groundwork…

The Assignment today from Blogging 101
is to reflect on the inspirations you have gleaned from your neighbours here in the blogging world.  More specifically to use this post to respond to comments left on others blogs.  Although the assignment is specifically referring to comments I left yesterday, the 10th.  the fact is I have been commenting and reading a number of blogs and consider it only fitting that I make this posting in response to the inspiration I have gleaned from neighbours.

I have three blogs that come to mind, but for the moment I will just write about 1 of them and hopefully later on add to this post or create a new post regarding other inspirations gleaned!!

The one which I commented on yesterday that stands out is MeMees Musings her post was on diving into Social Networks.  I connected with her post on a number of levels.   First of all, I connected on a  visual level.  There was a picture of swimmers stretching in preparation of maybe diving or swimming.  I like swimming so I stayed to read.

I could relate to the some of the swimming analogy she presented, but the part that I really related to was her hours and hours of struggle over what seemed in theory a simple task at hand.  That’s the same thing I’ve been dealing with.  There have been no hard assignments and even the assignments she mentioned for herself (she’s in blogging 201) didn’t seem that hard until I considered trying to do those same assignments myself.  She mentioned one of the assignments he had had was  to ‘audit my brand’ and like her, I thought that wouldn’t be so hard.  Then I read the post she linked to as a good example and yes there it turns out there is far more to doing an audit than meets the eye and the ‘Juicer in chief‘ at the flavored lemons website definitely has a great example of truly auditing your work.

As much as I admire and appreciate the Juicer’s website, Memee’s website, is the one that started my wheels really spinning.  When I left my comment for her she replied in depth with some great tips for me to remember.  Key tip –‘always include myself as a part of the audience’.  I thought I was including myself in the audience…but then again, now that she’s mentioned it, maybe I’ve been too focused on engaging the visitor.  It is, as she mentioned, draining to put all the energy into writing for others.  When you truly write for yourself then, you are writing from your soul, and it is heartfelt and not as draining as trying to invest the energy into making others happy or pleasing others.  I don’t live my life trying to please others so there is no need to take an activity which I am enjoying, such as blogging, and turn it into the burden of pleasing others.

More Pan please, play de Pan!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”

Soca, Soca, Soca Man!!
Pan music -play de Pan.
Jump Up! Jump Up! Jump Up Man!
Car-ni-val is the plan …

Steel drums (pan music) & Soca music are synonymous with putting me in a dancing mood and transporting me instantly back to home sweet home, Grenada (Gra-NAY-da)!  Soca & Pan music styles of music but both are synonymous with ‘Jump Up’ (crowds of people in the street dancing to Carnival  music).

Carnival time in the Caribbean is dancing time.  As a child the Carnival was all about steel drum bands being pushed and pulled through the streets with elaborately costumed dancers accompanying them.  The dancers gave enough separation between bands so you could hear what the preceding band was playing.  The days and weeks prior to carnival were full of anticipation and excitement.  Party was in the air; even as a child we could all feel the mood change at Carnival time.

J’ouvert (from the French jour ouvert, meaning day break or morning) Monday would start the Carnival festivities and I have to say that was the day the most of us kids got a good scare from the Jab Jabs!  Jab Jabs were men who coated their bodies in back oil and sometimes smeared red paint on their bodies as well.  The Jab Jabs would go through the streets all day Monday and into the night dancing and drinking and trying to smear the black oil from their body on any unsuspecting tourist or passerby.  As a kid they sure did look scary!  I never wanted to go out on J’ouvert Monday.  I was scared of the Jab Jabs with their big horns and black oil and sometimes snakes.  It was all in good fun and no one got hurt or anything.

Tuesday would be the parade of the Steel Bands and the Costumes.  This was Carnival to me – seeing those bands and the costumes it was amazing.  As an adult now, I can’t imagine how they managed.  Grenada was formed by a volcano and there are practically no flat surfaces on the island almost all the roads are winding, steep and narrow.  The Steel Drum musicians never seemed to lose a beat.  Their drums were suspended on metal racks with spaces for the musicians to walk within the framework of the steel drum supports and a group of men would pull and push these steel drum supports up and down hills till the end of the Carnival route was reached.  Everyone was dancing.  Standing still was virtually impossible with the music.  (Imagine seeing song number 5 in the YouTube playlist below being performed by musicians as they danced along, up and down the streets with their drums in tow on a rack made of pipes)

Every time I hear Steel Drum/Pan music or Soca I can picture the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea, feel the tropical trade winds and imagine myself back in the Isle of Spice.  It doesn’t take much to take me home in thought.   Soca and Pan Music are always an instant remedy for ‘feeling the blues’.

I love all virtually all types of music but only the Pan Music and the Soca music have the ability to snap me out of any duldrom I might be imagining.  I love Reggae too and it certainly brings back the memories as well but the big difference between Reggae and Soca music is, Reggae music is played all year round.  Soca music – well it’s meant to be Carnival music.  It is dancing music!

For a taste of the music -check out this YouTube Playlist I made of some of my favourites!

1.)  Peter Humphrey – Miss Daisy(Doh Come so Fast)
2.)  Mighty Sparrow Big Bamboo
3.)  Ajamu Sweet Mother
4.)  Steel drum band – Shake shake shake sonora
Exodus Steel Orchestra Panorama Semi Final 2013 — imagine these guys being pushed through the streets and playing like this -they used to march in addition to playing and dancing like they are in this competition
6.)Bacchanal Lady – David Rudder (one of my favourite tunes)