I’m delighted to share that I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award.  This is such a wonderful surprise for me, and one that I’m thrilled to accept.  Starting this blog has been an adventure, and it took a huge leap of faith since I’d been away from writing for so long.  I’m so grateful to all of you who take the time to visit and read Riddle from the Middle.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

I also feel incredibly blessed to have been acknowledged so kindly by a fellow blogger.  Tonya has been an inspiration and a wonderful source of support for me in this start-up stage.  Her blog Fourth Generation Farmgirl is devoted to a wide range of topics including reflections on farm life, gardening tips, recipes, wine advice, and travel.  She also has fabulous pictures — I think these pictures of her sheep might be my favorite so far.  Please take some time to enjoy her terrific blog.

The following rules are associated with the Liebster Award:

1.  Link the person who nominated you to your blog post and let them know you answered their questions.

2.  Answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominator.

3.  Nominate other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.

4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

My 11 questions from Fourth Generation Farmgirl:

1.  Which word best describes you?

Intense.  (99% of the time.  I’m a bit sloth-like the other 1%.)

2.  Who has been your greatest inspiration?

I don’t really have one person who’s been my greatest inspiration.  I’ve never thought to myself “I want to be like ___” and then worked to reach that goal.  I tend to find inspiration in the everyday things: seeing a photograph that’s so stunning it takes my breath away, hearing from a survivor and realizing it’s possible to recover from devastating circumstances, reading a story about someone who sees a need in the community and finds a way to meet it.  I’m especially inspired by stories of young people who work diligently for good; those are the people who help me believe the world can be a better place.

3.  What is your favorite quote?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

4.  When are you the happiest?

When I let everything go, stop thinking about the never-ending list, and am fully present in the moment.  Sometimes this comes during sweet family moments with my kids.  Often it involves giving gentle belly rubs to a dog flopped upside-down next to me.  It almost always calls for my most comfortable pair of pajama pants.

5.  Are you an “early bird” or a “night owl?”

Definitely a night owl.  Though my definition of night owl probably isn’t as late as it used to be.

6.  Where would you like to travel if money and safety weren’t issues?

Everywhere!  If I have to pick just one place, though, then I’d choose Africa.  I can’t exactly say why I feel such a strong calling to that continent, but I’d love to travel there.

7.  What is your most treasured childhood memory?

Going to the library with my mom in the summer.  We are both voracious readers.  I’d check out an armful of books, lose myself in them for a few weeks, and then get the chance to scour the library for a brand new batch on our next visit.

8.  If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would you invite?

If we can suspend the time-space continuum, my paternal great-grandmother.  I’d love to hear firsthand about her life in Italy and our family history.

9.  Do you have a preference in wine region when considering a bottle of wine?

Ummm…no.  I’m fairly certain people who have a preference in wine regions would be horrified by what I consider delightful wine.

10.  What would you like people to remember about you?

My greatest hope is that I will be remembered as a kind person who genuinely cares for all people.

11.  Have you ever had an experience or interaction with an animal that confirmed your notion that they are sentient beings?

I don’t know that I gave this much thought until my husband and I got our first (well, MY first) dog. We’ve had five dogs so far throughout our marriage, and when I’ve looked into their eyes I have no doubt at all that they are fully conscious beings.  I’ve seen this through their utter love and devotion, when they’re in pain, when they’re being chastised, and in times of complete bliss. Perhaps it’s been most obvious to me when we had to put two of them to sleep.  Watching that light fade from their eyes was absolutely heartbreaking.

I nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Award:

Confessions of an Ex-Teacher

F-Bomb Mommy

Of Means and Ends

No Thyme to Waste

Keeping Calm While Daddy is Gone

Here are your questions:

  1. What are you best known for from your high school days?
  2. If you could pick your own nickname, what would it be and why?
  3. A world-renowned chef is visiting your home for one evening.  What is your perfect meal?
  4. What do you consider your strongest character trait?  How has it influenced the course of your life?
  5. You can be guaranteed your dream job for life as long as you contribute two years of hard labor to your community.  Do you agree to the deal?  If so, what is your dream job?
  6. What was the last thing that scared you?
  7. Name three songs you could listen to on endless replay.
  8. What’s the last movie you saw in a theater?  How many stars would you give it?
  9. What would your ideal vacation be like?
  10. Write the first five sentences of the book closest to you right now.  Name the book.
  11. What creature, wild or domestic, best exemplifies your personality?  Why?

Thanks again to Tonya from Fourth Generation Farmgirl for her nomination.  This is a wonderful community of bloggers, and I look forward to getting to know more of you.