Wednesday: My Challenge: Keeping Up!

My only challenge today is trying to keep up with things!  I want to thank several people for nominating me for awards.  I am so honored, and so guilty because I haven’t followed through with them for about a month. sineonaward Actually, I have been graciously nominated for the Shine On Award by Marie  mariemom_1357015832_07 Go on over to check out her blog. In the meantime, here are the rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog page.
  2. Link back to the awesome person who nominated you.
  3. Tell seven things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 other bloggers who are deserving of this award.

Seven things about myself:

  1. I pruned my huge tomato plants and ate fresh cherry tomatoes for breakfast.
  2. I met another Marsha at a party for my husband’s boss last night.
  3. I have a new love in my life – a neighbor horse who now comes up to the fence when I walk on her road.  She rests her chin on my shoulder while I pet her ears.  I don’t even know her name.
  4. My office junk room is still clean, and I found stuff that was lost!  🙂  Yay!
  5. I love writing all my posts, and they seem like my best posts ever until about 2 months later when I reread them and find errors.
  6. I got a call from a salesperson from a timeshare yesterday. He had wrong information on me, so I told him to call me back when he had his act together.  (Who does that?)   He called me back.  We had a fun chat.  He asked what line of work I did, and what my husband did.  He guessed that maybe my husband was a minister – someone opposite me!  I laughed.  He told me he wasn’t calling me a devil or anything.  I laughed some more.  My first husband was a minister.
  7. My most frequent visitor and referrer on my blogpost blog is “vampirestat”  hmmm

My 10 choices of blogs are: 

  1. J T Weaver
  2. char
  3. ytaba36
  4. El Guapo
  5. viveka
  6. Rexlin Victor
  7. RoSy
  8. Pride in Photos Photography
  9. Alastair
  10. benzeknees
  11. Darla

Gabriel LucateroAnother award came from Gabriel Lucatero.  Thanks so much Gabriel!  Gabriel is an author of quite a few books both fiction and non-fiction.  On his blog he does a lot of advice writing about relationships.  Men, he has some very accurate advice for you about women – in my opinion.  So thanks again, Gabriel!   What a surprise!  🙂 award Another good blogging friend, JT Weaverjt has honored me with two awards:  Most Influential Blogger and the WordPress Family Award most-influential-blogger-1 One thing I like about receiving awards from men is that they don’t always have the rules, so it is really no muss, no fuss!  I love awards, and I love reading what people write to let us get to know them better, today is the perfect day for a no fuss award.  Thanks JT!  🙂 wordpress-family-award-1 Finally, The Story Reading Ape has nominated me for the Liebster Award.  This one has rules.  Don’t you love his picture? me-and-my-first-book-logo

Here are the rules

1. List eleven random facts about me.

  1. We didn’t own a TV until I was 7.
  2. I have a hair appointment in 45 minutes, so I’m not going to get this done before I go.
  3. It was fun to see my husband’s picture in the local newspaper this morning.
  4. I get a lot of training even in retirement, and I still don’t know it all!
  5. I wasn’t done with the bowl of pistachios that my husband just took away from me.
  6. We didn’t have air conditioning when I was young.  There was a large fan in the window of the garage that was supposed to remove all the hot air.  It didn’t.  My dad was a design engineer who designed air conditioners.
  7. I passed out the Kiwanis “What’s Happening in the Foothills” magazine out at shops, the hospital and doctor’s offices yesterday.  It was amazing how happy people were to get the magazine.
  8. My friend Janice who now lives in TN visited last week, and got me up at 5:30 a.m. to walk two days in a row.
  9. Manny is having fun in Spain.
  10. The ridges in my fingernails are really bugging me!  My nails need polish.  🙂
  11. I used to eat soft chocolate ice cream and french fries for lunch almost every day, and I weighed about 105 pounds at 5’5″ tall.  I still like both.

2. Nominate eleven bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award. 3. Notify the bloggers. 4. Ask eleven questions the bloggers must answer upon receiving the nomination. 5. Answer the eleven questions you were asked when you were nominated. 6. Link back to the person who nominated you.  Here are Story Reading Ape’s Questions 1. What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?  I love Adam Sandler.  It doesn’t seem to matter which one he’s in.  They are all funny! 🙂 2. What’s your earliest memory?  At what age?  When I was very young, I could remember way back (like 2 years).  Now the memories are mixed up together.  Let’s see, was I two or was I 16?  hmmm  Just kidding, but those early preschool days ran together.  I remember the drawer at Grandma’s that had all MY stuff in it. – A map puzzle with South Carolina worn off and I colored the rough cardboard backing yellow like the state had been, a pop bracelet, Crayola 24 count crayons in a black box, pink freezer paper to keep me occupied for hours, and a cow thingy that mooed when I turned it upside down –  Grandma never threw anything away, and I started going there when I was 0.  She got rid of the drawer when she moved in with my mom when I was 33, so you tell me how old I was.  🙂 3. What was your favorite subject in school? I loved reading even more than writing. 4. Have you EVER had a need for algebra away from the school environment?  I’m sure I have…. Ops really, …no.  I wasn’t an engineer, but I did tutor teachers and students in algebra as a history consultant.  (Yeah, I don’t get it either!)  🙂 5. Do you understand modern art (or even know if it’s hanging the right way up)? The picture I thought was the most overpriced was a huge canvas in Paris, the size of my office painted nothing but bluest blue.  That’s it.  I could have done that and I can’t draw!  🙂 6. Most enjoyable book?  I look around my library and love so many books for such different reasons.  I think I enjoyed Anna Karenina the most because I spent time analyzing it.  I also enjoyed David Copperfield for the same reason 7. Have you ever spent money on something you’ve really wanted although you could hardly afford it at the time?  All the time!  🙂  Yikes!  🙂  Let’s don’t go there, ok? 8. Apart from when you were a child, have you ever danced in the rain?  Danced, no, got stuck in it, yes!  I lived in Portland, Oregon.  I didn’t like walking in the rain.  As I ran across the busy street to catch a bus, a man beckoned me from his car.  I thought I knew him.  He said, “Hop in, I’ll take you home.”  I really thought he was someone I knew from high school, Bill somebody.  Glad for the ride, I scooted in as his girlfriend moved to the back seat.  As soon as I got in, I realized I had made a mistake, and I didn’t know him.  It was still raining outside. 9. What country would you like to visit that you haven’t?  I would love to go to Australia and visit my new blogging friends, and also to Spain, and Sweden. 10. What makes you grumpy?  Unfortunately, lots of things have that potential.  The worst is when I am expecting something to go a certain way, and it doesn’t work out that way.  For example, I used to sew and knit a lot.  I get very grumpy when I put stitches where they shouldn’t be and I can’t get my arm in the sleeve.  Worse, I put buttonholes on the wrong side, and cut them open.  That makes me crazy!  🙂 11. What’s your GO TO switch to make you feel better on a gray day?  Exercise helps, so does housekeeping.  Anything physical.  I get restless on a gray day, and even if I have lots to do, I might not get them done if I get gray along with the day! Here are my 11 choices:

  1. Maddie Cochere
  3. Jilanne Hoffmann
  4. Andrew
  5. Mariane
  6. Marie @ MyMomThoughts
  7. viveka
  8. When in New Places
  9. Shakti Ghosal
  10. barbarafranken
  11. SimplySage

I’m going to use the same questions for you. 1. What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen? 2. What’s your earliest memory? 3. What was your favorite subject in school? 4. Have you EVER had a need for algebra away from the school environment? 5. Do you understand modern art (or even know if it’s hanging the right way up)? 6. Most enjoyable book? 7. Have you ever spent money on something you’ve really wanted although you could hardly afford it at the time? 8. Apart from when you were a child, have you ever danced in the rain? 9. What country would you like to visit that you haven’t? 10. What makes you grumpy? 11. What’s your GO TO switch to make you feel better on a gray day?

I’ve Been Tagged

Before I start, I want to speak my condolences to those in Boston, and my prayers are with you.

As I was digging into Ute‘s blog today I found out that I’ve been tagged.  Thanks Ute!  What fun!  The idea is to answer eleven questions set by him and then ask more questions to eleven others.

Here are her questions, followed by my questions and the folks I’ve nominated to answer them, and write their own questions and pass them on.

  1. Are you open to try new foods from different countries?  Yes, definitely!  What are you offering???  
  2. Do you see your glass half full or half empty?  It depend on what’s in it!  If it’s air, I’d have to say 100% full.
  3. Which famous person would you like to meet? Ute
  4. Have you ever met a famous person, who was it? I meet famous people every day.  It just depend on who you consider famous!  My most famous friend is Elane, a Holocaust survivor.  She worked in the entertainment industry, and at her seder she has had movie stars.  Unfortunately I didn’t know them before, and one of them was pretty rude, but we did have dinner together.  Her best friend there is married to an animation artist, Ed Marsh, that worked on the Titanic and many other movies.  There are others, but he is an absolute sweetie pie.
  5. Internet shopping to real highstreet, which do you prefer? It depends on the item.  For books, I actually prefer online because I can just download a book onto my Kindle or computer.  For clothes, I much prefer to try them on.
  6. What is your favourite board game? I prefer card games.  I like something that doesn’t take too much thought, for a couple of reasons.  First I like to talk to people as I play, secondly, I don’t want to embarrass myself.
  7. How would you describe yourself in 3 words? friendly, funny,  and flabby
  8. What do you do on a daily basis which makes you happy? eat
  9. What is your favourite cartoon character? Since I didn’t have my own children, I haven’t watched many cartoon except animated films.  Do they count.  I loved the Incredibles, Chicken Little, and the hair on the little princess – forgot her name.  As a child, my favorite was Popeye, and I do like slimy canned spinach to this day.  
  10. Do you have a partypiece you can show off at parties? hmmm  I’m sure I do, not sure exactly what that might be – a party bowl or something?
  11. At a dress up party what would you go as – mm good question, Ute.  I’ve been as a flapper and a woman from the 1860s.  I prefer something that makes me look cute and fun, and doesn’t make me look like I’m an old lady trying to act too young.  

My questions:

  1. What book are you reading right now?
  2. What mini-vacation (0-100 miles from your home) have you particularly enjoyed within the last year?
  3. What is your favorite form of entertainment?
  4. Of what accomplishments are you the most proud?
  5. Who has been most influential in your life in the past year?
  6. If you were raising money for a favorite charity, where would you direct our checks?
  7. If you weren’t doing the work or career you are in, what would you like to be doing?
  8. If you could have named yourself, what would your name be and why?
  9. What would you most like to tell your children, or important young person in your life but haven’t?
  10. How do you change your mood when you are grumpy?
  11. What particular skill could you teach us on your blog?

Here are the lucky people I’m tagging.


I’ll enjoy your comments!  🙂

Staycation Time – Virtual Visiting Through All My Blog Friends


Yes, I’ve reached that point in my blogging life – 300 + posts, 20,000 + visitors, 8 + months of blogging almost every day.  I tried to do this a week or so ago, but just couldn’t stay away.  I am a bona fide bloggaholic according to  Ralph’s definition.

I’m addicted to the LOVE of all my BLOG FRIENDS!!!

So here’s my plan.  I really am going to step back a bit this time.  I’ll have more time

to visit your sites, and rethink what I want to do with blogging.  I’ll be answering comments, of course – how could I not.  I live for your comments!!!  I’ll work on organizing and refitting my blog, and I’ll be taking care of other necessary duties.

I need your input, though.  What next steps should I take with blogging?

  • Start a new focused blog or two on specific interests of mine?
  • Just keep going the way I am – random posts nearly every day?
  • Stop blogging and just write books?  Sorry I can’t do that!  I’m addicted to Y’ALL.
  • Blog less frequently and stop blasting you with a post a day?
  • Start an “Ask Marsha Lee” Blog giving silly or semi-silly advice to folks
  • Refurbish this site and turn it into a custom site that is not hosted by WP so that I have more flexibility
  • Just slow down
  • Be SERIOUS instead of always TRYING to be funny.  (OK that might be too much of a stretch!!!)  

What should I do to get to my next 20,000 visitor mark?

Thanks so much to Papi and to Alastair for crowning me with awards this week.  You both are gold stars in my book!!!  I mean blog.

The Versatile Blogger Award

My Award Grantor

Rexlin has nominated me for the esteemed award of The Versatile Blogger.  Thank you so much, Rexlin.  You are indeed my friend because you recognized the difficulties and frustrations under which I have labored in the past few weeks culminating in my frantic iPhone post this week-end.  You are a true friend.

Thanks Rexlin

Versatile Blogger Rules  (If you choose to obey them)

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

My 15 Award Recipients

  1. Things I Want To Tell My Mother
  2. Boomdeeadda
  3. Howard Peacock
  4. The Backdoor Artist
  5. Ute smile
  6. the eff stop
  7. The Happy Logophile
  8. stuffitellmysister
  9. Amy
  10. Pride in Photos Photography
  11. tazeinmirzasaad
  12. Papizilla
  13. Ana Ela
  14. Naomi Baltuck
  15. chris13jkt

I think you will enjoy how creatively versatile these folks are.

Seven FACTS About Me?

  1. I never THINK I am exaggerating when I tell a story.
  2. Technology problems seek me out.
  3. People go “Huh???” when I think I am being extremely funny.
  4. People think I’m funny usually when I don’t have a clue, so I am often considered funny.
  5. I’m not REALLY blond – now.
  6. Even strangers often share their uninvited opinions and advice about my clothing, make-up, hair, etc.
  7. I think six facts about me are as many facts as readers can handle in one reading.

Spot1 copy

I am truly honored when a talented blogger takes the time to notice my blog because like most of you, my blog represents who I am and what I care about.  So thanks again Rexlin for honoring me with this award.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Awards Made Easy

If you’ve been blogging regularly and faithfully for more than two or three weeks, you’ve probably received your first award.  This post is primarily for NEW bloggers.  Experienced bloggers don’t always stick by the letter of the Award Laws, but they have developed their own ways to responding to awards.  This is my way.

In my opinion, Awards are fun.  Someone took the time to develop them.  They are an invitation from someone who is reaching out and saying, “I like you.  What you are saying is resonating with me.”  They may also be a newbie and be saying to themselves, “I got this award, and I have to pass it on, or the whole blogosphere is going to blow up in my face.”

Cyberspace – if you don’t pass on your award.

Panic-stricken they continue their muse, “Who can I give it to? I”ve only read three people’s blogs.  How was I supposed to know I have to read OTHER people’s blogs?  I thought I would just write, and people would come read it.  And soon an online magazine would pick up my stuff and start publishing it.  Hmmm  OK, I know, I’ll give it to another new kid on the block.”

Like this!
One of my first posts. An obvious sign of a newbie blogger who desperately NEEDED an award!!!!

Whatever reason an award comes your way, there it is and now you have to make a decision.  Are you going to respond, blow it off and pretend you didn’t get it, or hang up a “Do Not Disturb – No Blogs Allowed” sign on your blog?  I think most people respond, which perpetuates the award giving, but there is always the temptation to move on and ignore the award.  I’m going to err on the side of acceptance for lots of reasons.  First I’m going to tell you why I don’t want to hang up a “go away award givers” sign.

Very few newbies write well enough to tell people to go away and expect them to come back and visit their site.  The only one I know who gets by with that is Ralph, and Ralph is just special.  He doesn’t even have to write a post and people come and leave 80-100 comments in his box.  You need to visit Ralph just to know it’s true, but beware, you will be hooked.  Ralph just has enough “Je ne sais crois,” as one of his friend’s puts it, to pull it off.  The rest of us starter bloggers, well ….  Only you can make that decision.  Most people who don’t respond eventually have few people visiting their site even caring what they write.  If that’s really what you want – and some people do – then, by all means, hang up the sign.  And people will leave you alone by the droves.

So let’s say you get an award or two, what do you do to keep up?  I don’t want to mislead you – it does take some effort on your part to participate.  Here are my steps.

  1. Thank your award giver right away – even if you are not going to respond and pick the blogs you want to pass the award yet.  If you don’t do this and forget who gave you awards, you can search your comments to find who has given you awards.
  2. First of all you don’t HAVE to follow all the instructions exactly as written if YOU don’t want to do so.  There are no award police.  This is not a grant application that will be rejected if you don’t answer one of the questions.   It’s not a chain letter that will break and bring you bad luck to you and your descendants for hundreds of years.  So if the award doesn’t work exactly for you, be creative.  It’s the thought that counts.
  3. Open a word document to copy and paste the instructions for your blog award(s) as well as the url of the person awarding you.  I usually open a new document when I have a couple of awards, rather than just one because I’m not really THAT organized.   Answer the questions, and create a blanket invitation that you will cut and past in your awardee’s comment boxes later.   I always try to let them know that they don’t have to feel obligated by my nomination.  
  4. Open your reader.  Copy and paste some or all of the blogs you follow into the document you created.
  5. Clean it up so that all you have are the links to the websites.  This is important.  You are going to use these links several times.
  6. We tend to pay attention to the first blogs we follow, and the most recent ones as well, so some blogs always get ignored.  Highlight a group of blogs you follow from your reader tab on your stats page, copy and paste them into a new place on the page.  Pick more than you need for the award.  I included a sample of my document in pink.

My cleaned up list

  1. A year of reading the world 
  2. ruleofstupid  
  3. benzeknees  
  4. 1earthnow 
  5. a recipe sharing and bento blog 
  6. The numpty novice with a compact camera and a laptop 
  7. The Adventures of Justin Beaver 
  8. rarasaur 
  9. Roxie’s Blog 
  10. An electric journal of a castaway 
  11. Views From My World 
  12. Anna Scott Graham, Indie Novelist 
  13. Erin Daniel Photography 
  14. Coming East 
  16. Guapola 
  17. The Bottom of a Bottle

My award choices and blanket invitation/congratulations statement to paste into their comment box

Wonderful Team Member Readership

  1. ruleofstupid
  2. An electric journal of a castaway
  4. Guapola
  5. The Bottom of a Bottle

As I meet new bloggers, I am always impressed by, not only creative blogs, but those blogs that can create readership, and participate as engaged readers in others’ blogs.  That is the reason I have nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Enjoy it as a compliment.

  1. Let’s assume that you have more than enough sights that you follow to choose from.  If you don’t I’ll address that in a minute.  Start down your list (on the Word document) and click on the sites.  This is time consuming because you want to “camp out” on each site for a bit to get to know them if you are not reading them regularly.  I prefer working from the offline page rather than trying to keep track of them in my reader.  I have to watch my internet usage, and it saves time.  Don’t give awards to sites you really don’t know AT ALL!   
  2. Write your post.  You can cut and paste from your Word document including all the names.  Paste the links into the tags of your post as well, so that your awardees get better coverage on Google.  Remember award giving will help them build readership.
  3. Insert a picture of the award by copying the url from your friend who gave you the award.  Save and close it.  Insert it into the post near the top and use the url for  that also.  Publish your post, and copy the short link.  Open the your sidebar image and fill in the blanks with the title of the award, url for the picture, and paste the short link for YOUR POST in the space that says link to an url, near the bottom of the insertion.  I also write the name of the award giver in the caption line.  (see sample )
  4. Widget for awardUsing your Word document, click on each website again, go to a comment section and paste in your blanket response.  I always personalize it to respond to what Ive read on their site as well.  That should take care of it.


  1. As you regularly visit sites, check out the awards, write congratulation notes.  Awards are a tool for making connections with others.  
  2. Respond to people as they thank you choosing them for the award.  Be positive and always congratulate them because you had a reason for picking them.  If you can elaborate on their return comment, it never hurts to tell them a few more details about why you chose them.

What to do if you don’t have enough followers?

  1. If you haven’t been blogging for very long and don’t have enough, then you can just put the award away for a while, or you can visit your favorite pages, and look at the comment sections and see who else you might like to have as a friend.
  2. Click on the links of the comments you like and check them out, looking at the about pages and a few posts.  Don’t give awards to people you find out that you don’t really like.  This makes them meaningless!!!!

What happens after you’re nominated for an award?

 Nothing happens.  No WordPress person is going to come and say, “You were nominated, and out of the 600,000,000 bloggers world-wide, your new blog is the best we’ve ever seen.”  I say that because at first I was so shocked to receive an award.   I was so naive vain, that I wondered when someone was going to tell me that I’d actually WON!  The experience is the nomination.  The fact that another blogger likes you is the prize.

My Rant

I wish we did something like this with students so that they were not looking at the teacher to give all the praise.  Students need learn to do a good job just to do a good job, and to appreciate EACH OTHER because they evaluate each other’s work and deem it valuable in some way.  Everybody can be the BEST something.

I have many blogging awards in my sidebar, and I’m proud of all of them.  My non-blogger friends think I’m really a master blogger when they see all those award seals!!! hahaha  And to some of you lovely bloggers I AM!!!

Award giving builds community and caring between bloggers.  No one can monitor all of this.  We wouldn’t want them to!!  We monitor each other.  We visit bloggers because we want to read what they have to say.  I started blogging in April, 2012.  A few of my blogger friends and I have started emailing so we don’t blog up the blog.  I have given and received items from my friends in the snail mailbox.  We have exchanged pictures.   We have become Facebook friends or fans.  We are really becoming more than just Cyber friends.

As a word of caution to all of this personal sharing we all want to be safe.  My husband wanted me to take off my location on my Facebook page, which I did.  It is also not a great idea to include your birthday on FB.

Do you think I love blogging?  Come join the fun.  I hope this has made your award receiving and giving a little easier.  🙂

Featured Blog

Featured Blog

Featured Blogs are my alternative to awards.  You can see my criteria on my Featured Blogs page.  Patricia Drury is my pick for today.  She is  retired and relatively new to blogging, a newbie photographer with a Canon Camera with talent just bursting to be shared.  She open and full of life.  I think I’d like to BE in some of her photographs they are in such beautiful places!!  See what I mean?

Anybody want to join me???

Wonderful Team Member Award

As I happily make this post, I complete my long-overdue responses to the wonderful folks that nominated me for awards.   J.G. Burdette, one of my favorite writers, nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.  I DO deserve this award, particularly from her, because I love to read her articles.  They are more than posts.  She writes beautifully narrated biographies which always include snip-its of little known facts on historic folks.  (Yes, you might guess that I like history!)  Thank you so much J.G.!!!  I love reading your writing.  I have learned so much!!!  🙂

Rules: (i) Don’t forget to thank the nominator and link back to their site as well; (ii) Display the award logo on your blog; (iii) Nominate no more than fourteen readers of your blog you appreciate and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know about the award; (iv) Finish this sentence: “A great reader is…” A great reader is the best blogging friend one can have.”  Thanks to my readers who encourage me to reach for the stars.

I choose the following blogs to win this award.  Most of them are funny as well as being good readers and responders.  Enjoy visiting them.  (Drumroll please)

Congratulations to:

  1. ruleofstupid
  2. An electric journal of a castaway
  4. Guapola
  5. The Bottom of a Bottle

I have a favor to ask.  A friend of mine is a photographer, and has a fan page on Facebook.  She only needs a few more likes to be able to see her administration page.  Here is the link if you would like to like her.

Thank you so much!!!!  🙂

And as long as you are already liking folks, if you want to like my not-so-new fan page too, I’ll send you tons of smiles for when you’re feeling blue and down in the dumps.  🙂  That’s mine – just in case???

SFW Christmas Eve055
Guess which one is me!!!!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

This sweet  award comes to me from the sweetest 16-year-old I know – from Renee.  Thanks Renee!  You are the best!!!!

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.

2. Answer 10 questions.

3. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.

4. Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated.

5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

Here are the 10 questions.

1. What is your favorite color? red cars, blue dresses,

2. Your favorite animal? Kalev

3. Your favorite non-alcoholic drinks? cherry diet coke, apple cinnamon tea, mint tea

4. Facebook or Twitter? FB

5. Your favorite pattern? plaids

  1. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?  Giving,
  2. Your favorite number? 7

8. Your favorite day of the week? Saturday

9. Your favorite flower? rose

10. What is your passion? family, friends, writing, photography, history, reading, sewing, movies

These are the my nominations from the blogs I’ve followed within the last 3 weeks.  If any one of you is a brother, I apologize, but I checked and double checked, and to the best of my abilities all of you appear to be sisters.

  1. A year of reading the world
  2. benzeknees
  3. 1earthnow
  4. a recipe sharing and bento blog
  5. The numpty novice with a compact camera and a laptop
  6. The Adventures of Justin Beaver
  7. rarasaur
  8. Roxie’s Blog
  9. Views From My World
  10. Anna Scott Graham, Indie Novelist
  11. Erin Daniel Photography
  12. Coming East

Comment Competition Ends Midnight Dec. 31, 2012 PST

Autty Jade has taken up the challenge.  For months she has led the pack for numbers of comments – and numbers of words, too.  Today, her record was broken by Ralph with a total of 55 comments to Autty’s 50.  Autty has vowed that Ralph is not going to beat her, so watch out Ralph!  This girl’s keyboarding fingers move faster than Superman’s when he has a pressing deadline at the Daily Planet, AND Lois Lane is in trouble..  Poor, unsuspecting Ralph; he didn’t even know there was a contest.

Ralph 55
Ralph 55 comments on Marsha Lee’s Vanity Blog
Briney Lass
Autty Jade 51 comments on Marsha Lee’s Vanity Blog

Close behind the two leading commenters, with 45 comments on Blog Marsha Lee, is my new-found sister in Australia, Eternal Traveler.  Her daughter has decided that we are two of a kind, and therefore I am her aunt.  So it’s official I have a niece.

The Eternal Traveler - 45
The Eternal Traveler – 45

Lagging behind the three top expressionists are Dianne Gray and ADinparadise, tied at 28, and Sharechair, at 17 all time comments on Marsha Lee’s Vanity Blog.  If Ralph takes off on vacation, and Autty’s computer goes on the blink again, we may have an unexpected winner.  It could be YOU!!!  There are plenty of days left to comment.

Prizes will be announced at a later date, but whether champagne is in order remains to be seen.  Autty Jade KNEW she had to get her computer fixed when she read that Ralph and I were cavorting around with online champagne bottles.  Ralph popped them, I poured them, and Kalev imbibed them.  Rumors were that Kalev drank all 10 bottles of champagne.   Kalev had a great night’s sleep, and kept quiet all day today.  I’ve not heard a peep out of her since the trip to find snow.

I discovered today that Ralph may have had cameras installed in our cupboards to make sure that V and I are not harboring any unaccounted for bottles of champagne.  We have been searching for the cameras since we saw the insides of our cabinets live on Ralph’s site.  We were hoping that the cameras had vacuum cleaners attached to them to get rid of any unsightly dust bunnies that might appear on the internet.   Unfortunately he wasted his time and money because there are NO champagne bottles, full or otherwise, ensconced in our cabinets!

Lurking dust bunnies
Lurking dust bunnies

I’ll keep you posted as the contest heats up.  Presently not all competitors know there IS a contest.  In fact no one does.  So it remains to be seen if top contender, Ralph will even pick up the comment gauntlet.

So Ralph, The Eternal Traveler, Dianne, AD, Sharechair, and any others of you that think you can race against Autty, The Commenter Extraordinaire.


I’ll post the results daily except for Christmas and Christmas Eve during Renee’s 16th party.  I made a mistake telling all of you it was going to be her 17th birthday.  Renee has been fudging on her age for the past few months telling us that she is already 16, when in fact, she is JUST turning 16.  Don’t forget her amazing party starting Dec. 24th right here on Marsha Lee’s Vanity Blog.  🙂

* Note  The editor of Marsha Lee’s Vanity Blog denies any responsibility for rumors that may have started here.

Mama Kitty, do you really believe that I could have drunk all that champagne?    I don't remember a thing about it.
Mama Kitty, do you really believe that I drank all that online champagne? I don’t remember a thing about it.  I think Ralph drank it, and tried to blame me for it!!!

I was going to wait until 12:00, but I just CAN’T do it!!!  Let the games begin!  And may the best commenter win!  Win lose or draw, I love you all!!!

Reality Award

Thanks The Blazing Trail

Over a month ago The Blazing Trail honored me with the Reality Award.  I have to be real now.  I apologize for somehow overlooking this honor.  I love awards, so I have no good reason for neglecting this one!  Thank you Blazing Trail!

Everyone who gives and receives awards takes the time to review people’s blogs and refer their own readers to new blogs.  It is a great way to promote blog readership and appreciation.  It is the breeding ground for making friends.

1) If you could change something what would you change?

I would change myself.  I would not forget things:  facts, dates, people’s names, places.   I would never be unkind, but I would still be able to present my opinions persuasively with passion and emotion.  I would be efficient, yet be conscious of the needs of others and as I bend my time to their needs, I would still get things done.  That ought to do it for now.

2) If you could relive one day, when would that be?

A redo, a chance to correct mistakes, or a chance to relive pleasure.  Both are compelling.   One would possibly change the course of my life, and the other a chance to relive happiness, and maybe mess it up.  I think I would choose one of the many days I messed up, and go for making it better.

3) What one thing really scares you?

One thing???  That limits it, not that I’m overly timid or fearful, but I feat the final stages of the aging process. 

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?

Writing and publishing one or more amazing novels motivates me right now.  I’m goal driven, so I expect to accomplish it.

5) If you could be someone else for the day, who would you be?

To put myself in someone else’s shoes…  What a responsibility!  I would assume that I would still have my brain, my abilities, and that person’s obligations, schedule, etc.   It would be easy if I could just step into their brain, their abilities, but the choice only gives me the chance to step into their shoes, which are the means of going and doing what that person is doing.  If I wasn’t me while I was in those shoes it, would I remember that I’d been that person?  On the other hand, without access to that person’s thoughts and insights, the task would be too difficult.  I haven’t prepared all my life to be anyone else but me.  So I would have to have access to the Vulcan mind meld or something similar.  

Given all of that, would I want to influence the world, or experience extreme success, fame, and fortune?  And in what time zone?  Choices, and none of them real possibilities!!!

I think I’d be John C. Calhoun, and while wearing his shoes try to convince him to change his viewpoint about slavery, and succession of South Carolina from the United States.  I think it would take more than a day to convince a person to change. (Be it them or me.)  To change Calhoun – Would that have been a powerful enough change to have prevented the Civil War?  

These are hard, thought-provoking questions.  They take me out of my reality, thus negating the award.  OK the YIPEE is still there!!

Nominations to receive this award:  I am going to limit myself to newer friends here, so give me a minute to review websites.

Blog of the Year 2012

Thanks for nominating me!!!

Thank you so much Rommel and Adinparadise for nominating me for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.  Of all the blogs you both visit – and I see you everywhere – I am so honored to be chosen by you for this award.  You both have wonderful blogs, beautiful pictures, interesting content, and it is well-organized.  Best of all you connect with people.  You leave feedback for people letting them know that you care.  

Blog of the Year Award banner 600

I have many blogs that I read and go back to all the time.  So many that I don’t get back to them as often as I want to.  These are my picks for the Blog of the Year 2012, and are mostly old-time (up to 7 month) friends.  These are the top ones with whom I carry on conversations, listed in no particular order, with no remarks.  II adore them all, I’d love it if you visited all of them!  I may have even missed a few, and for you I beg your forgiveness.

Featured Blog

  Bluefish Way is a recent blog for me.  Ralph wrote a great post on why he follows people and asks why people follow him.  I guess we all wonder that, but no one I know can get the responses this blogger gets from his fans.  It’s hard to describe his appeal, but he has captivated my interest as a blogging phenomena, and, whether or not you are interested in him, he will write to you if you leave him a comment.

Others of you that I listed may not be blog award people either, and I didn’t notice, and for you, just consider yourself thanked for what you have added to my life.

HERE’S HOW TO NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR  ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award –

THIS IS MY BLOG AWARD STATUS AS OF 12-25 -12.  Thanks Adayinparadise and Ivon, Renee, Eunice and Carol, for awarding stars the rest of the 6 stars to me!!!  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR READING MY BLOG!!!

Very Inspiring Blogger Awards

I love awards, and I have been saving them to enjoy on my birthday, which is today.  So today I’m going to open my presents, last one first.

Thanks to Sue Ann’s Balcony

Yesterday I received The Inspiring Blog Award from Sue Ann’s Balcony.  I also want to say thanks to Eunice at NutsforTreasure for nominating me November 24th for the same award.  I am so honored that my blog is considered inspiring.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State seven things about yourself.
  1. I love to read, but do so way too slowly to get through all the books I want to devour.
  2. I slip easily, but since I love to laugh, it’s great fodder.
  3. I’m going to see if I can still do cartwheels at 61.  My great-grandfather could.
  4. I have a WONDERFUL supportive husband who prefers grocery shopping without me!!
  5. I’m grateful for the many friends whom I love and who love me.
  6. I use Bath and Body works lotion to keep soft skin.  Otherwise I feel like sandpaper.
  7. Gray is not my best color.

Updated and finished:  Nov. 26th  It is such a pleasure to get to know you all.  Thanks again everybody for reading my blog.

They say getting older is no sweat. Don’t believe them!

Catch you all later.  I need to see if I can still do a cart-wheel.  Have a great day!  Hope your candidate won yesterday.

Liebster Award


Renee’s header. I thought it was beautiful, and you’d want to enjoy the view.

Thank you so much Renee at for nominating me for this award.

I was curious, for some reason, about the start of this award.  So I have begun to trace back to see who passed it to whom, and to learn a bit about those bloggers, and the award.

So I am going to keep a record of my tracing for a bit, starting with the person who gave the award to me.

And that is where I will stop this post for now.  I had a fun time reading.  Most of these blogs have to do with reading and writing, so I want to spend some time and go back to them.   To “camp out” as Russel Ray says.   Next I will need to spend time looking for posts that have less than 200 followers.  The rest of the rules seem to change with the giver.  It’s kind of like playing telephone.  It starts out with 11 questions, then morphs to 3, then none.  So I’ll have to think about what I want my award rules to be.  I just finished my last post, so it will take me a few days of reading to come up with my nominations, so for the meantime, thanks again Renee.  I’ll be back.

Meanwhile it’s gone from being 4:30 a.m, back to bed, random conversation with my husband, to 7:30, and I’m still in my pjs reading and writing drivel.  My husband is already out getting ready to mow the yard.  OK, I should feel guilty.  I’ll go get dressed. Enjoy your day.


A Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Help Me Rhonda for nominating me for this award.  Rhonda called this a Piece of Cake Award.  She must have seen that little tiny piece of chocolate cake I ate in the privacy of my own home after my husband went to work and wouldn’t notice.  So now I had my cake, and I’m getting to eat it too, and share with five of my favorites.

Here are the Piece of Cake Version rules – thank you Rhonda for these easy rules:

1. Copy and paste the award logo onto your post.

2. Nominate 5 other people.

3. Tell them that you nominated them.

So I always try to pick new people because my other favorites actually become friends, and they know by now that I think they are marvelous, and you can too, if you link on my awards pages.


I also have some picks because Lee at also nominated me for a Lovely Blog Award

The rules for that award are: 1: Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog– 2: List seven random things about yourself– 3: Nominate fifteen other  awesome bloggers

So here are my sever random things:  1.  I use Wikipedia at least once a day.  2.  I haven’t ever played in moats, but we had a big ditch in front of our home in Indiana, and I built worm cities in it.  3.  I have never had my hand in the mouth of a pelican.  4. I baked a blue cake with green icing for my mother’s bridge party when I was 10.  5. I thought saddle shoes were so cool until I got a pair and wore them to school (too many old movies).  6. I loved watching Shirley Temple movies with my mom instead of going to school in 5th grade.  7. I loved the Twilight Zone as a kid, and got to watch an episode or two with a friend recently.

My favs


AND nominated me for the Sunshine Award.  Thanks Just Dan

Rules:  Link the award to the person who gave it to me.  Answer the questions about myself.  Nominate 10 bloggers for the award.  Link my nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

Here are my Sunshine favs.


Here are the questions, you have to preface them all with What is your…

Favorite philosopher: So I wonder what category the writer of this award meant.  This is a starter list from Wikipedia.  Let’s see now I need to look up these words to decide my favorite brand of philosophy first.  Wow this is going to require a lot of thinking!  Now if you think these are the only lists that Wikipedia has about philosophers, then think some more, or maybe you know your favorite off the top of your head:

Favorite bad habit: chocolate just eating all kinds of junk

Age: Hopefully older than I look

Favorite time of day:  lunch time

Favorite time of year: I didn’t make the rules here, so in California we have 30-40 days of 80 degree, clear-air, sunny days.  Those days are my favorite times of the year.

Favorite dead celebrity: I had to look this one up too, and was saddened to find out that Maeve Binchy, an author from Dublin.

Favorite Christmas movie: Problem is that I don’t lie easily.  Not than I can’t do it, but I don’t enjoy it.  So do you really care what my favorite Christmas movie is?  I don’t really think that many people do, so I’ll pass on this one.

Favorite vacation: I have been fortunate to have gone to so many wonderful places in my life, that it is hard to pick.  I love to travel and learn at the same time.  When I travel, I want to visit museums, famous buildings, and sites.  I like to have tour guides.  I also want to visit famous restaurants – drive-ins, and dives are fine with me, too.

Physical activity: walking except when twirling in my new desk chair.

Favorite thing: Animate or inanimate?  I guess I would have to go with food.  That includes plants and animals, but no fungi.

So there you have all the information you need from me, and all totaled you will find 30 new favorites of mine listed here for YOU to check out!

New Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Thank you to Nizy’s Life Compendium for nominating me for the beautiful Super Sweet Award.  This award is really yummy, and during my month of not eating sweets along with my fitness blogging friend,  .

With every award come rules, and these are simple.

1)  Thank Nizy, my nominator,

2) Answer 4 questions.



I love awards!  Some people don’t care about them, but when someone nominates me for an award I research other people’s blogs more than just giving them a casual glance, and through the awards I have received I have become blog-friends with several new people.  As I nominate you, know that I have spent some time “camping on your site”, as my blog-friend Russell says.

Beautiful Blogger Award Rules ~

There are rules to every blog award.  This one is simple.

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in my post.

2. Thank the person who nominated me and create a link back to their blog.   Thank you Seasonsgirl.  I don’t know your name, but I enjoy your site often, and I thank you very much for nominating me for this award.

3. Nominate 7 OTHER bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award

So, for your beautiful sites and enjoyable blogs I nominate you:  You will find some outstanding artwork on these sites.

Creative Chaos Award Rules ~

1)   I mention 3 weird things about myself

1)  I don’t like lobster, shrimp, prawns, mushrooms, or pears.   I just learned to like black olives a little bit.

2)  I can’t sink.  I can just stand in the deep end of the pool, not ON the water, but in it.  I can’t EVER dive and touch the bottom.

3)   I roast marshmallows over the gas flame on the stove – even when no one else is home.  (At least once every 10-12 years, when I have a bag of huge marshmallows that someone left.

2)   Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person?

I think I am the glass half full kind of person. We all get down from time to time, but with God’s help (and the help of my friends) eventually I bob to the top.  Oh yeah, I can’t sink!

3)   You find yourself in a desolate place when your car breaks down. You have no cell phone service, no Wal-Mart, and only a candy bar for food. It is 150 miles to the closest town. What color are your underpants and why?

Who needs underpants, you’re going to die anyway?  Oh yeah, my glass is half full.  Someone might miss me.  In that case my underpants are pink because I like pink, why else?

4)   And the last task is to nominate 5 bloggers who have recently started following you.

I like this requirement.

The 12 sites above are really amazing sites.  They range from very young people – students to retirees from India to Australia, and many places in between.  Each of them writes and illustrates their blog with their heart, and have touched me in some way.  The longer I do this, the more sites I find to enjoy, so if you are not nominated for these awards, it’s because I already camp out on your site, and you know that I enjoy it.

Inspiring Blog Award

Thank you so much Seasonsgirl for nominating me for the Inspiring Blog Award.    I didn’t know there were so many awards out there, nor did I ever expect being nominated for one.  I am so honored that this blogging experiment of mine could be considered inspiring – funny in places, maybe, informative – hopefully, a great connecting experience for me – definitely.  So thank you from the bottom of my inspired heart.

You can see from the pictures below why Seasonsgirl was nominated.  She writes recipes, and many people besides me love to eat, and some of them even like to cook.  But her website is more than that.  She takes beautiful pictures at home and when she travels.

One of the things I love about blogging is that it takes me places I’ve never been before, and might never ever in a million years get to see.  Unlike Einstein, I am not naturally curious, but I love people.  So when I like someone and they are doing something or seeing something, my interest antennae pop out, and say LISTEN, LISTEN, LOOK MARSHA LEE here is something that you might like.

I had no idea what OPSAIL was so I had to look it up.  And I didn’t know where in the world Half Moone was so I googled that as well.  I hyperlinked them so if you are like me, you can check them out, too.  Thanks Seasonsgirl and blogging friends for inspiring me and expanding my world.

The rules  for receiving the Inspiring Blog Award are as follows:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you -(see above)

2.  Share 7 things about yourself.

3.  Nominate 15 other bloggers that you admire or inspire you

4.  Go leave a comment and let the people know you have nominated them.

My Seven things…

  1. I love people.
  2. I love to be alone from time to time, but not for too long.
  3. I love to travel.
  4. I love not to travel, and stay home.
  5. I love to be creative, though I’m more enthusiastic than creative.
  6. I love to get organized, though nothing stays that way for very long!
  7. I love to admire.

The nominations for the Inspiring Blog Award…

As a new blogger, I realize that accepting a nomination for an award takes a lot of time because you have to evaluate a website and not just slip in and out of it.  For this Inspiring Blog Award you must differentiate between interesting, beautiful and inspiring.  To inspire means to stimulate or excite your spirit.  What inspires our spirits?  I am inspired or excited when someone’s blog makes me want to go out and do what they are doing – and I assume that it will be something positive.  If you inspire me to go out and wreck my car, then I’m not sure you should get an award.  I also think that you have to be somewhat humble, or at least seem to be on the outside.  My late husband was a minister, so  I know how some of the best-intentioned folks  in the world (me, for example) ruin their inspirational opportunities by their pride in doing good or giving advice to the less inspired.  So I have to give this some thought and research.   Like my friend Seasonsgirl, I tend to go back to the same people who I have mentioned before, but I am going to stretch myself to reach out to some new sites even though that takes a little more time.

  1.  This is a new site to me.  She instructs people about editing her photos, and she responded to me when I asked a question.  Thanks Leanne.
  2.  Smiles A Lot just plain makes me laugh.  Is laughing inspirational?  I don’t know, but it makes you feel good.
  3.  I like Bucket List Lesley’s site because she helps people accomplish what they would like to do in life.  That reminds me of Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  I bet her Bucket people are just blown away!  She also comes back often and visits and comments on my site.  That inspires me to write some more, and to make comments so that other people feel good about what they are doing.
  4.  Preetam Nath is only 18, yet he truly inspires me not just because he posts beautiful photographs, but that he posts other people’s work.  In addition, he reaches out to others.  He has written to me, invited me to Google+ and admired my photographs.  Thanks so much Preetam.  I hope you continue to inspire others for many years.
  5.  Lago comes to see my site from time to time, and I his.  He has a great sense of humor, and is obsessed with many ordinary things.  That inspires me to stop and enjoy the popcorn along the way that calls my name whenever I go to a movie, but I’m not obsessed????
  6.  I like the looks of this site, but there’s more to this site than looks.  Brian and Shannon are living, not only their dreams, but mine.  They have some thoughtful things to say, and some beautiful photography.
  7. This person has some beautiful pictures, and is graphic designer.  The website looks professional, and inspires me to keep pushing on.
  8.  Eva, a writer/photographer, has a great sense of humor, sees the beauty in family and simple things.  She’s the kind of person you would want as a friend.
  9. This is a new site to me, and the pictures of Canada are amazingly gorgeous, and at times very funny.   Even more so, Patrick Latter tells his experiences with a sense of humor.  You will enjoy this site.
  10. Amy Turner Taylor continues to inspire and impress me with her wonderful sense of color.  She has a great eye.  She doesn’t let her website get old and dull.  I may get inspired to change my cover photo, however, I might lose my double meaning blog title.  Decisions – the bane of inspiration.
  11. This site has some interesting stories from music to electric cars.  I am not a car person, but my husband is, and his son is a motorcycle man.  Between the two I have  learned to enjoy the beauty of a car, and appreciate some of its qualities other than getting you somewhere.  NYparrot has some amazing cars, and I am inspired to own one of them one day in the distant future.
  12.  This is another new site to me,  Jilanne Hoffman writes to writers.  Since I want to be a writer when I grow up, I am interested to see what she has to say that might inspire me.  The day I had the most viewers was the day I sat around wondering what in the world to write, and wrote about THAT.  She wrote me back on that day.
  13. This Vermont photographer has some photos of glistening beauty.  There is one photo, a young deer with sun shining through its ears, that is more adorable than Bambi.  I think I’m inspired to visit Vermont and see some of these beautiful animals.
  14. The photographs on this site are amazing.  I’m really inspired by the beautiful color of her background with her amazing azaleas at the top.  Nothing matches the title better than hers.  The azaleas are nothing less than amazing, but the rest of the photos are great too.  Clouds are spectacular, buildings with reflections cause me to pause to show on my own photographic compositions.
  15. Cristian still intrigues and inspires me.  One of these days I am inspired to self-publish a book or two now that I have read his tips about how to do it.

One Lovely Blog Award

I feel like I have arrived!

Cherry tree, bee and me – I’m the invisible one behind the camera.

Rlcarson ,, just nominated my blog for the Lovely Blog Award! Thanks so much! Renee and Pallas have some of the most amazing cloud and sunset pictures ever. Yesterday I had the hardest time writing, and had more readers than any day except the first, and I think most of those readers were me editing. I enjoy R’s blog, and especially his last comment when he nominated me (hehe!) It’s amazing to me to be out there writing and having someone respond – much better than a journal!! Thanks so much!

Pass it on!

These are the rules for receiving this award:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.  (See above)

2.) Share 7 things about yourself.

• I love to learn.
• I love to teach as I am learning, not when I am already an expert.
• I am never an expert.
• I love to write.
• I love to eat, but cooking, not so much.
• I walked in a three-day 60 mile Sarah G. Komen Race for the Cure when before it had any bad publicity.
• I love a great story, so sometimes I exaggerate. I know – you’re shocked! I don’t exaggerate much. Stories are better when you don’t have to make them up – just slant them slightly.

3.) Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire.

In no particular order, here are the 15 blogs that I have most enjoyed during my short blogging journey.

4.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

That is the time-consuming, but interesting part. Some of the sites you may not get back to as regularly as you mean to do, so this is a great way to revisit those who have encouraged you along the way. Thanks so much to all of you, and especially my nominator