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I am an open-minded skeptic. A closet cynic with an open heart. I have knee-jerk reactions to rules for the sake of rules. I tend to examine my motives before I jump on any bandwagon; I want to know why I do what I do.  Mostly, I want my motives to be caring and love rather than obligation.

So I have to admit that when Marci, over at The Midlife Second Wife graciously offered me the Leibster award, I wasn’t sure if I would accept.  I had seen these awards in all different shapes and sizes across the blog-o-sphere, and my inner cynic thought they were nothing more than blog-ish chain letters.

If we want to share the love, shouldn’t we just share it? Why do we need an award to spur us on?

Well, the short answer is, we don’t. We all share links and information all the time, and it doesn’t just happen in cyber space.  I get comments and emails from people outside of the blog-o-sphere who share amazing words of wisdom.

The other short answer is this:  Sometimes a reminder is a good thing. It is good to step out on purpose and recognize the value of a person, the value of their contribution.  Why not give random awards?  Heck, let’s do it offline too!  Spread those random acts of kindness, and give kudos where kudos are due.  It all makes the world a better place.

So in that spirit I am humbled, honored, and grateful to receive this recognition. Leibster, I am told, means beloved, or favorite.  It is a radically amazing thing to be chosen as a favorite.  Thank you, Marci.   >>>> (Deep Bow ~ Namaste)

Now, to pass it along ~

Here are the guidelines associated with the Liebster Award:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.  Again, I thank you, Marci.  Read her post here – she describes the whole thing much better than I do.  😉
2. Pass the award along to five other bloggers (see below) who have less than 200 followers. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.

Well, my five turned into ten and then twenty, and I had to stop myself! How do you choose only five?

Here is what I did: I purposely chose blogs that have not (to my knowledge) received a recognition of this sort. To the best of my knowledge, these blogs have fewer than 200 followers, but that bit of information was not always evident.  Remembering that leibster can mean favorite, these are blogs that I look forward to reading when a notice from them appears in my inbox.

I encourage you to pay them a visit and see if you love them as much as I do.

For pure inspiration:

Kate Swaffer: Inspired
Kate Swaffer is just, well, inspirational.  I am grateful every day for her posts.  Besides, anyone who can write a whole post on the definition of the word UP deserves blogger recognition!  🙂

Creating Reciprocity
I’ve only just found this blog, but so far love what I see, and look forward to more thoughtful posts.  Trisha says this on her about page: “Our oneness is a biological and sociological fact but as we still persist in seeing ourselves as divided we don’t know how to operate the system that is humanity. I believe that our most urgent need right now is to learn how to function as one entity – one organism.”   Powerful statements. Go check her blog out.

For travel – either vicariously or as incentive to get up and go:

Thoughts and Rainstorms – Anything that combines writing and travel draws my attention.  Holly is traveling the world and sharing it through her posts.  Beautiful photos and text – worth a read.

For creative inspiration (oh, there are so many of these to choose from – I may have to do a post just on that someday):

Artful Explorations in Nature  – Here you will find photos of the most wonderful art made from bits of the earth.  I love this!!  From the about page –  “ideas and inspiration for both art programs wishing to incorporate more environmental studies into their curricula, and environmental programs wishing to utilize art to engage their students and visitors in a multi-sensory learning experience.”   Cool.  Go see what she is doing, then go outside and try it yourself!

how a dogfish saved my live – Photography.  Real.  Amazing.  No digital images – Andrew takes all of his photos with film.  Remember that?

Words, words, and more words:

Julia’s Place – Another site I have only recently discovered.  This will be fun for the writers in the bunch. Julia offers a weekly writing prompt – check it out: 100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups. I haven’t tried it yet, but now that NaNoWriMo is over, the challenge is calling….  You may see my response to one of these challenges appear on my blog here in the near future.  🙂

And because I love all things garden:

The Patient Gardener’s Weblog  – Gardening is good anytime.  🙂

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Whoops, that was more than five.  I guess I am not all that good at following rules.   😉

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